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Monday, 11 June 1973


Mr. Ambassador,

We thank Your Excellency for the kind words you have just addressed to us and we are happy to tell you how much we appreciate the delicate homage and the noble intentions you express, at the moment when you enter upon your high office as Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic to the Holy See.

We also accept with particular satisfaction the cordial sentiments of His Excellency President Habib Bourguiba, whose interpreter you have been, and we entrust you with the task of reciprocating to him our good wishes for himself and for the Tunisian people, so dear to us.

We know the efforts that the Republic of Tunisia and its leaders are making to win acceptance for the ideal of peace in justice, which you so rightly stressed. The Christian community of your country is bent on cooperating fully in this work of concord. As we recalled when we received your predecessor, the first Ambassador of Tunisia, to the Holy See, the authentic expression of Christian faith leads, in sincere esteem and a desire for dialogue, to a disinterested contribution, in conformity with the teaching of the Gospel, to the cultural and spiritual advancement of all. When it is a question of building a civilization, respect for moral values and for human dignity, to which you referred, have a prime place.

The pursuit of social progress in justice and concord call for another concern, in our times, among those who bear the heavy burden of governing their country. The increasingly close relations between peoples impose the obligation of uniting the efforts of all in order to ensure the peace and stability of the world community. This is an aim that must always be taken up again, even if it sometimes seems to come up against insuperable difficulties. We think that with the grace of God and the goodwill of men, peace is possible. It must be the fruit of negotiations which take into account the rights of persons, minorities and peoples And we are happy that your Government manifests its interest in this way of wisdom and is not afraid to take inspiration from it in its diplomatic action.

We hope that, thanks to the contribution of Your Excellency, the good relations inaugurated between the Tunisian Republic and the Holy See will develop for the greater good of all. We express our best wishes for the accomplishment of the mission that is entrusted to you today and we willingly implore the assistance of almighty God on yourself, the members of your family and the whole Tunisian people.

*ORa n.26 p.4.


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