International Conflicts Must Be Resolved Through Dialogue, Pope Says

Receives Head of the Libyan Mission to the Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says courageous and tenacious dialogue is an important way to respond to existing tensions in the world.



"Dialogue, based on solid moral laws, facilitates the solution of conflicts and favors respect for life, for every human life," the Pope said today. He made his observation when receiving Abdulhafed Gaddur, head of the Libyan mission to the Vatican, who presented his credentials.

Recourse to arms to resolve controversies is "always a defeat of reason and of humanity," the Holy Father said.

John Paul II expressed his concern over the situation in the Middle East, terrorism, the conflicts that impede development in many areas of Africa, and the unequal distribution of the earth's goods and of the human and spiritual fruits of technological research.

He recalled that the activity of the Holy See on the international scene is characterized by the desire for dialogue "in order to foster agreement among nations, the attainment of peace and the defense of the legitimate peculiarities of all peoples, as well as concrete solidarity toward the less fortunate."

"The sincere desire for honest collaboration is the basis for a beneficial cooperation between believers and all men," something that is especially valid for "the followers of Islam and for Christians," he told the Libyan ambassador.

In the face of attempts to falsify religion or to use sacred traditions illegitimately, "it is necessary to underline forcefully that practices which incite violence and contempt for human life are contrary to God and to man," the Pope said.

"The way of dialogue and mutual understanding in respect of differences must be encouraged with firm determination, in such a way that authentic peace might be achieved and the meeting of peoples might take place in a context of solidaristic agreement," he said.

John Paul II also mentioned the Catholic community in Libya, whom he encouraged to "continue with its work, cultivating the spirit of fraternal communion and availability toward the neighbor with a discreet and loving presence."