Vatican Radio Notes an Absence in Mideast

“Arafat and Sharon No Longer Control Situation,” Says Station Director

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2002 ( As new violence engulfs the Middle East, Vatican Radio raised the question: “Where are the United Nations, the United States and Europe?”

“Arafat and Sharon no longer control the situation,” said Father Pasquale Borgomeo, Vatican Radio´s director general, during the station´s “One-O-Five Live” program.

Given the situation, “the Holy See has expressed the need for a request for mediation to resolve the conflict,” but those that might be the mediators are conspicuous by their absence, Father Borgomeo said.

“In all civilized countries, the failure to give assistance is an offense,” he said. “How can those countries forget this, which claim the values of their civilizations and proclaim the struggle against terrorism in order to safeguard those values?”

“A dynamic of death is taking place in the Middle East, which escapes the hands of those considered responsible,” the priest continued.

It is an “immense battle, in which the apparently weaker contender, with the monstrous force of desperation, pushes the seemingly stronger adversary to relentless and lawless confrontation, forcing behavior and measures that rob it of legitimacy,” Father Borgomeo said.

In “this daily horror, the Israeli and Palestinian civilian populations are the objects of violence from both sides,” the priest said.

“Sharon and Arafat, are not capable of resolving this bloody conflict on their own,” he said. “Where are the United Nations, the United States and Europe?”

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