Pope John Paul II highlighted the need to settle the Iraqi crisis peacefully during his meeting with UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on Tuesday.
The Pope spoke of the need to avoid more suffering for the people of Iraq and considered that the crisis should be solved in accordance with international law and that any action should be taken within the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.
Summarising the half-hour conversation between Pope John Paul and Kofi Annan, Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that “they u8nderlined the important role of the UNO and expressed their wish that just and efficient solutions can be found for this challenge, based upon international law”.
Special envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray arrived back in the Vatican after a five-day visit to Baghdad, where he had meetings at the highest level, including one with president Saddam Hussein. He met Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul II for a working lunch, at which he stated that he was optimistic that there was still a chance for a peaceful resolution for the crisis.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru