Rome: Pope Francis was urged Friday to use a visit to Turkey later this month to press for the liberation of two orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria in April 2013.
Theophilos Kuriakose, head of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Europe, called on Francis to raise the issue during a scheduled visit to Ankara on November 28.
"My humble request is that his holiness... will take the opportunity to raise with the Turkish government the issue of the liberation of our brother bishops who have been kidnapped," he said.
The bishops, Boulos Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim, were kidnapped in Aleppo in northern Syria and unconfirmed reports have since suggested they are being held by Chechen militants on Turkish territory.
The pope is due to visit Turkey from November 28-30, during which time he will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and new prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu.