VATICAN, Oct. 26, 00 (CWNews.com) — As he met with a new ambassador from Lebanon, Pope John Paul II renewed his appeal for “specially guaranteed international status” for the city of Jerusalem. VATICAN, Oct. 26, 00 (CWNews.com) — As he met with a new ambassador from Lebanon, Pope John Paul II renewed his appeal for “specially guaranteed international status” for the city of Jerusalem. In his remarks welcoming Fouad Aoun to the Vatican diplomatic corps, the Holy Father observed that “Jerusalem should be a particularly strong symbol of unity and peace and reconciliation for the whole human family.” For that reason, he continued, the current conflicts in Jerusalem are “particularly disquieting.” He suggested that the conflict between Israel and Palestine was not likely to be resolved unless and until the status of Jerusalem is settled, and that international guarantees would furnish a means of ending the current stalemate on that issue. Lebanon’s new ambassador replied that his government would back the suggestions of the Holy See, both in the drive for international guarantees on Jerusalem and in “the search for a just and fair solution that will reward right rather than force.” Ambassador Aoun went on to say that the climate in his country has become more favorable to the peaceful cooperation of different peoples. And Pope John Paul responded by insisting that all peoples should have equal rights to participate in the political process. “The consolidation of confidence among the ethnic and religious communities that make up the country is a necessary condition for eliminating the fear of one another and for regaining the taste for living together,” he said. He also pointedly remarked that Lebanon should be ruled by its own people, and not subject to pressures from abroad– a reference to the power Syria has wielded over the Lebanese government in recent years.
POPE RENEWS PLEA FOR JERUSALEM
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