Iraqi Official Will Meet with John Paul II at Vatican

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 5, 2003 ( Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz will be received in audience by John Paul II on Feb. 14, the Vatican says.

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“The deputy prime minister of the government of Iraq, Tarek Aziz, has requested to be received by the Pope. The Sovereign Pontiff will receive Mr. Tarek Aziz in audience in the Vatican on Feb. 14,” says a press statement issued today Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

Aziz, a member of the Iraqi Christian minority, confirmed the news in an interview with correspondents in Baghdad of the French newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro.

“I asked to be received by John Paul II, on the advice of friends in Italy and in the Vatican, and I received a positive answer from the Pontiff immediately,” Aziz said.

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