BY THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE
Thursday, 10 April 2003
VATICAN CITY, APR 10, 2003 (VIS) - The following declaration was released early this afternoon:
"The Secretariat of State, having been informed of the latest developments in Baghdad, which mark an important turning point in the Iraqi conflict and a significant opportunity for the future of the people, hopes that the military operations underway in the rest of the country will soon end, with the aim of sparing further victims, civilian or military, and further suffering for those populations.
"Given that the material, political and social reconstruction of the country are on the horizon, the Catholic Church is ready, through her social and charitable institutions, to lend the necessary assistance. The dioceses of Iraq are likewise available to offer their structures to contribute to an equitable distribution of humanitarian aid.
"The Secretariat of State hopes once again that, with the silencing of weapons, the Iraqis and the international community will know how to meet the compelling present challenge which is to definitively bring an era of peace to the Middle East."
SECRETARIAT OF STATE:IRAQ/... VIS 20030410