Negotiation Extolled as Only Way to End the Mideast Conflict

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2001 ( Only justice and forgiveness will put an end to the "deep and divisive hatreds" that have poisoned the Holy Land for the past 50 years, John Paul II says in his message for the World Day of Peace.

The Pontiff believes that the motto of the document, "No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Forgiveness," is particularly relevant in seeking a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"The continuous recourse to acts of terror and war, which aggravate the situation and diminish hope on all sides, must finally give way to a negotiated solution," the Pope emphasizes.

"The rights and demands of each party can be taken into proper account and balanced in an equitable way, if and when there is a will to let justice and reconciliation prevail," the Holy Father adds. "I urge the beloved peoples of the Holy Land to work for a new era of mutual respect and constructive accord."

11. desember 2001