DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     May 17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 95

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE CALLS FOR AN END TO THE IRAQ CRISIS

Receives Chaldean Patriarch and Islamic Leaders

          VATICAN CITY, MAY 14 (ZENIT).- John Paul II received the Patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans in Iraq, His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, along with a group of Muslim leaders in audience this morning. Among the Islamic leaders were Hussein Ishmael Hayder Al-Sader, the Shiite Iman of Jadum, the Sunni President of the Administrative Council of the Iraqi Islamic Bank, Abdul Latif Hemim Mohammed, and Iraqi Minister of Religion, Samer Said.

          According to Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls, the leaders came to visit the Holy Father to thank him for "the care with which he follows the destinies of the entire Iraqi population." After their meeting with the Pontiff, the delegation was received by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran.

          Navarro-Valls also indicated that these meetings permitted the analysis of the situation in Iraq, and "confirmed to the Holy See that the efforts of the international community to rapidly reach a just and definitive solution for the crisis must have the Iraqi people as their particular central objective."

          The Holy See and John Paul II have often condemned the economic embargo currently being applied to Iraq, noting that the real victims of this action are the most helpless of the Iraqis. The Patriarchate of Iraq and the Holy See are currently studying the possibility of the Pope visiting Iraq at the end of this year. ZE990501408


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May 17, 1999       volume 10, no. 95
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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