Pope, Mubarak Discuss Middle East

VATICAN, Feb. 20, 01 (CWNews.com) - As he met with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday, Pope John Paul II called for an end to the violence in the Middle East and a resumption of peace talks.

The Pope spoke privately with Mubarak for about 30 minutes. The Vatican later disclosed that the main topic of conversation had been the Middle East peace process, and the need for "a climate of détente and dialogue," and the resumption of peace negotiations "as soon as possible."

Mubarak, in his own comments after the meeting, emphasized his concerns about the breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian talks. The Egyptian president, who met separately with Italy's President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, told reporters that he hoped the European community would take a more active role in promoting the peace process. Mubarak declined to comment on the likelihood of progress toward peace under the leadership of new Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; he told the press that he would prefer to give Sharon time to establish a pattern of policy before making public comments.

Mubarak was accompanied by the Egyptian foreign minister, Amre Moussa, who met privately with Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States.

Catholic World News Service - Vatican Update
20. februar 2001

av Webmaster publisert 23.02.2001, sist endret 23.02.2001 - 18:53