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Pope backs Syria peace plan in Easter message

6 years ago10 views



More than 100,000 people attended Easter services in St. Peter's Square ---the most important day in the Christian calendar.

In his Easter message -- Pope Benedict threw his weight behind a U.N. plan to calling for an April 12th ceasefire in Syria.

SOUNDBITE: Pope Benedict saying:

"May there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community. May the many refugees from that country who are in need of humanitarian assistance find the acceptance and solidarity capable of relieving their dreadful sufferings."

He then tuned to other parts of the Middle East.

SOUNDBITE: Pope Benedict saying:

"May the paschal victory encourage the Iraqi people to spare no effort in pursuing the path of stability and development. In the Holy Land, may Israelis and Palestinians courageously take up anew the peace process,"

The 84-year-old pope's blessing was shorter than usual, and capped off a period of intense activity which included five services over the week and a recent trip to Latin America.

He ended his message by wishing worshippers a Happy Easter in 65 languages.

Deborah Gembara, Reuters

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