Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pope renews Mideast cease-fire call
Sunday, July 23, 2006; Posted: 8:00 a.m. EDT (12:00 GMT)

LES COMBES, Italy (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday renewed his appeal for an immediate cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon and encouraged all sides to start negotiations.

Benedict issued his latest plea as he greeted some 3,000 pilgrims in a meadow near his Alpine vacation retreat on a day that he had dedicated to prayers for peace in the Middle East. He reiterated his recent statements in support of Lebanese sovereignty and of Israel's right to live in peace.

"I renew with vigor my appeal to all sides in the conflict, so that they immediately cease fighting and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, and so, with the help of the international community, they search for ways to begin negotiations," Benedict said.


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