Friday, July 25, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki

On July 25, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI received Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki at Castel Gandolfo:

A Vatican communiqué stated that the talks were "cordial," and that they "provided an opportunity to examine a number of fundamental aspects of the situation in Iraq, also taking into account the regional situation."

"Particular attention was given to the question of the many Iraqi refugees," added the statement, "both inside and outside the country, who are in need of assistance, also with a view to their hoped-for return."

The text continued: "Renewed condemnation was expressed for the violence that continues to hit various parts of the country almost daily, not sparing the Christian communities which strongly feel the need for greater security.

"The hope was expressed that Iraq may definitively discover the road to peace and development through dialogue and cooperation among all ethnic and religious groups, including minorities, which, while respecting their respective identities and in a spirit of reconciliation and of searching for the common good, together undertake the moral and civil reconstruction of the country.

"In this context, the importance of interreligious dialogue was reiterated, as a way to religious understanding and civil coexistence."