VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2006 ( Benedict XVI says a solution that is fair to Israelis and Palestinians alike can be found to the conflict in the Holy Land.

"There seems to me to be an almost paradigmatic illustration of these considerations at that nerve point of the world scene, which is the Holy Land," the Pope said today in an address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

"There, the state of Israel has to be able to exist peacefully in conformity with the norms of international law; there, equally, the Palestinian population has to be able to develop serenely its own democratic institutions for a free and prosperous future," the Holy Father observed.

In a long and anticipated address, the Pontiff pointed out the path to peace for the future.

He suggested the search for truth as the way to identify what "there is in common, pertaining to the very nature of persons, of all peoples and cultures, and this must be equally respected."

"And when these aspects of diversity and equality -- distinct but complementary -- are known and recognized, then problems can be resolved and disagreements settled according to justice, and profound and lasting understandings are possible," Benedict XVI added in his French-language speech.

"On the other hand, when one of them is misinterpreted or not given its due importance," he said, "it is then that misunderstanding arises, together with conflict, and the temptation to use overpowering violence."