VATICAN CITY, APRIL 29, 2002 ( John Paul II supported national reconciliation in Angola and appealed for international aid for the "resurrection" of the country when he received its new ambassador to the Vatican.

The Holy Father´s encouragement came at a moment when the southern African country of 10 million is emerging from a 27-year civil war, following the death of Jonas Savimbi, leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola.

In his address to ambassador Armindo Fernandes do Espirito Santo Vieira, the Pope joined in "the general joy of the nation in seeing their leaders opt for peace."

The Pontiff said he prays that God will help the men who rule the country´s destiny "to apply the agreements already reached, seeking a solution to national problems, at the heart of competent democratic institutions."

John Paul II appealed to the Angolan leaders to have an authentic "patriotic spirit ... especially to serve the common good and safeguard the fraternity of all the sons and daughters of Angola." The Pope visited Angola in June 1992.

Lastly, the Holy Father supported the Conference of Donors, an initiative that the Angolan government is organizing for the country´s revival.

"It is time that the real friends of the Angolan people stand up and be counted, helping to create worthy conditions of life and an effective security for all," the Holy Father concluded.