The head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has said he hopes that Venezuela achieves "a beautiful stability through dialogue with all" as he began a five-day trip to Colombia.
Pope Francis spoke to reporters in flight, as he headed to Colombia, where he is expected to arrive in the afternoon. His plane was scheduled to cross over Puerto Rico but had to change its route due to Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm pounding the Caribbean.
The Argentine pope stated his support for the stability of Venezuela, as he thanked the reporters for their work in "this trip that is a bit special because it is a trip to help Colombia to go forward in its path of peace.
"I would also like to tell you that we will fly over Venezuela and ask for a prayer so that there can be dialogue, that the country finds a beautiful stability, with dialogue with all," he said.
This is Pope Francis fifth trip to Latin America, which will last until Sept. 10, after visiting the cities of Bogota, Villavicencio, Medellin, and Cartagena.
The pope will be received at Bogota's El Dorado airport by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at 4:30 p.m. local time.
His visit comes as the former FARC rebels and the government of Colombia take further steps to implement their peace agreement, while the National Liberation Army reached a ceasefire agreement with the government just days before his arrival.