Pope Francis has criticized Western countries for trying to impose their own brand of democracy on countries such as Iraq and Libya that have their own social and political textures.

The pope also said Europe should better integrate migrants and praised the election of a Muslim as the mayor of London.


"Faced with current Islamist terrorism, we should question the way a model of democracy that was too Western was exported to countries where there was a strong power, as in Iraq, or Libya, where there was a tribal structure," the pope was quoted as speaking to France’s Roman Catholic newspaper, La Croix.


"We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account," he said.


Pope Francis has been a major critique of what he calls “cultural colonialism”, and attacks Western countries’ attempt to impose their values on developing countries in return for financial support.


“As a Libyan said recently, ‘We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have 50,’” the Pope said, referring to Western interference in Libya which left the country in despair.