Saturday, August 26, 2006

U.S. Message to Vatican on Lebanon; "Our Common Goal Is a Free, Democratic Lebanon"

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 25, 2006 ( Here is the statement sent today by Francis Rooney, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, on humanitarian relief to Lebanon.

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From the outset of the crisis between Israel and Hezbollah, the United States has worked with the international community to relieve civilian suffering resulting from the conflict, to urgently end the violence that Hezbollah and its sponsors have imposed on the people of Lebanon and Israel, and to change the status quo that produced the war.

Benedict XVI has also made his special concern for the region known. The Pope has called attention to the plight of civilians on all sides of the conflict, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian -- both Israelis and Lebanese.

Aware of the special relationship between the Holy See and Lebanon, the United States consulted closely with Vatican officials throughout the conflict, and continues to do so now that attention has shifted to peacekeeping and reconstruction. We share a common desire to see wartime damage repaired, the Lebanese people assisted, and a lasting peace secured.

To this end, the United States has continued to work to aid the thousands of people who are in distress following this conflict. Since the beginning we have worked to ensure that transportation routes were open and goods could be delivered to those in need. In addition to the $27 million in aid that the United States has already provided, President George Bush recently announced a total current commitment of $230 million to the people of Lebanon.

Please see my blog, "Crusaders for Truth," for more articles concerning the situation in the Middle East.


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