Peaceful Means Can Disarm Iraq, Says Cardinal Sodano

ROME, FEB. 19, 2003 ( The Holy See says there are still many peaceful ways left to impose disarmament on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

The Holy See’s position was expressed Tuesday night by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, at a reception in the Italian Embassy in the Vatican.

At the reception, which was also attended by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Cardinal Sodano supported the conclusions of the meeting of Ministers of the European Union, held a day earlier.

“Disarmament is the way, but to achieve disarmament, there are still many peaceful ways left, and they must all be explored,” Cardinal Sodano said. “War is not inevitable.”

During the reception, the cardinal encouraged the Italian government’s efforts to have reference made to great religious values in the future European Constitution, in order to guarantee the liberty of religious confessions, according to the European tradition of freedom.

Cardinal Sodano said that the Italian model of church-state relations should be followed in the ambit of the European Convention.

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