DAILY CATHOLIC FRI-SAT-SUN June 4-6, 1999 vol. 10, no. 108
NEWS & VIEWS
POPE'S AND KOFI ANNAN'S JOINT EFFORTS FOR PEACE
Analyze Conditions of Coexistence in Respect of Human Rights
VATICAN CITY, JUN 3 (ZENIT).- John Paul II and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan met late this morning to discuss the crisis in Kosovo and the way to stop the failure of humanity in resolving the tragedy of Yugoslavia.
After talking with the Pope, Annan also met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Secretary for Relations with the States.
According to a U.N. spokesman, the objective of the secretary general's visit to Rome was "to construct peaceful alternatives to the conflict and create conditions for coexistence respecting the civil, political and human rights of everyone."
Kofi Annan described his meeting with the Pope as "an important opportunity to exchange points of view on the moral and political issues underlying the Kosovo crisis."
The Holy See insisted that the United Nations assume its responsibility in the process of pacification, which today took a great step forward with Belgrade's approval of a plan proposed by Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, European Union mediator for Kosovo and his Russian colleague, Victor Chernomirdin.
In an official communiqué, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that John Paul II "has renewed his appreciation for the U.N.'s role at the heart of the International Community and expressed the hope that it will continue and increase in taking the initiative in preventing conflicts."
"After recalling the role that Christians can play in respect for human
rights and education for peace, the Holy Father mentioned the Holy See's
position toward the current conflict, emphasizing the need for the end
of hostilities to be accompanied by the simultaneous return of the
refugees to the Kosovo region under the aegis of the United Nations and
with the support of an international peace-keeping force accepted by all
those involved," concluded the press release..
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NEWS & VIEWS