Holy Land and Iraq Need Dialogue, Not Strife, Says Pope

Receives Egypt’s New Ambassador to the Holy See

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says that the solution to the conflicts occurring in Iraq, the Holy Land and countries scourged by terrorism is dialogue, not violence.

The Pope repeated the Vatican’s position in the complex international scene, when he received the letters of credence of Egypt’s new ambassador to the Holy See, career diplomat Nevine Simaika Halim.

“As the Holy See does not fail to remind in these convulsive times, there will only be lasting pacification in international relations if the will to dialogue prevails over the logic of confrontation,” the Holy Father said Saturday.

“Whether in Iraq, where the return to civil peace seems so difficult to establish; or in the Holy Land, sadly disfigured by an endless conflict that is fueled by hatred and reciprocal desires for vengeance; or in other countries martyred by the terrorism which strikes the innocent so cruelly; violence reveals its horror everywhere and shows itself incapable of resolving conflicts,” the Pope said.

“It does not produce anything good; only hatred, destruction and death,” he said.

Because of this, John Paul II appealed to leaders “of the international community to foster a return to reason and negotiation, the only possible way out of the conflicts among men, as all peoples have the right to live in serenity and peace.”

In her address to the Pope, the ambassador expressed Egypt’s confidence in “your positive contributions in the face of the tragic events in the Holy Land and Iraq.”

She said that “a human and civilized globalization, capable of treating peoples equally, could be the bearer of tolerance, exchanges and riches.”

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