DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     April 15, 1999     vol. 10, no. 74

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican's chief foreign-policy official has reiterated the belief that the Kosovo conflict should be settled by negotiations.

          "The Holy See has always believes that in the case of the Balkans, the political problems must be resolved through dialogue, respectful of history and of right," said Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran. The Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States was interviewed by the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana.

          The archbishop also said that the Holy See saw the need for "humanitarian interference" when fundamental human rights are at stake, because "no state has the right to violate human rights and hide behind the principle of national sovereignty." This principle, he said, reflects an "important evolution of international law in recent years."

          Archbishop Tauran remarked that Kosovo had been the focus of "intense diplomatic activity" for several months, but that the negotiations produced no accord. He said that political leaders apparently felt that with diplomatic possibilities exhausted, the only remaining option was the use of force. "The responsibility for that choice obviously lies with those who adopted it," he said. The Holy See, he added, wished to call attention to the balance of "the illness that is being combated, as against the consequences of the therapy that has been chosen."

          Fleshing out the notion that a solution to the conflict must be respectful of "history and right," the archbishop noted that the Serbian people certainly have historic ties to Kosovo-- ties that involve their ethnic heritage and identity. On the other hand, he continued, it is equally clear that most of the people of Kosovo today are of Albanian ancestry.

          Finally, Archbishop Tauran emphasized that Kosovo is an integral part of Europe, and the solution to the conflict should be "in the juridical patrimony of the European tradition, based on democracy, respect for human rights, and the free circulation of people and their goods.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 15, 1999       volume 10, no. 74


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