Weapons Alone Won´t Bring Peace to Afghanistan, Vatican Aide Says

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 27, 2001 (Zenit.org).- A top Vatican aide and an exiled Afghan king agreed that weapons alone cannot bring peace and security to Afghanistan.

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Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, and King Mohammed Zaher Shah met Monday in the well-guarded Roman residence of the 87-year-old monarch.

Archbishop Tauran was accompanied by Archbishop Paolo Romeo, apostolic nuncio in Italy. The meeting was also attended by Mir Wais, son of the former monarch, and General Abdul Wali, a principal adviser and relative of Zaher Shah.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said that the visit, on the eve of the Bonn conference to debate Afghanistan´s future, served to «renew the Holy Father´s concern and the Vatican´s commitment to peace and the well-being of the Afghan people.»

Navarro-Valls revealed that, during the meeting, «there was talk on the need for a negotiated peace and for international solidarity to reconstruct the country, convinced that weapons alone cannot bring peace and security.»

«The sovereign also expressed heartfelt gratitude for the Pope´s concern and that of Catholic humanitarian organizations,» the Vatican spokesman´s press statement concludes.

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