Pontiff Urges Europe to Work for World Peace

Especially in the Mideast

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has appealed to the European Union to be more committed to world peace, particularly in the Holy Land, Lebanon and Iraq.



The Pope made that appeal today when he welcomed Frank De Coninck, Belgium's new ambassador to the Holy See. The envoy was presenting his letters of credence.

The Holy Father began his address with an evaluation of 50 years of the "great project of the construction of Europe, which comes from the Christian spirit."

"The progress is considerable, though new difficulties have arisen recently," he acknowledged. "The European continent again finds its unity in peace and the European Union has become an economic force in the world of the first order, as well as a sign of hope for many people.

"Given the exigencies of globalization and solidarity among men, Europe must continue to work and to be committed in the great quarries of the planet.

"In the forefront of these challenges is the question of peace and security, at a time when we observe a fragile international situation because of lasting conflicts, in particular, in the Middle East, with the ever dramatic situations of the Holy Land, Lebanon and Iraq, but also in Africa and Asia."

According to the Bishop of Rome, the international community, particularly the European Union, must mobilize "determinately for peace, dialogue between nations, and development," and he assured the Holy See's full support in these objectives.