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Pope For Nuclear Diplomacy

Varican City : Pope Benedict XVI in his first Easter message on Sunday called for an "honourable solutions" to the nuclear standoff with Iran, a truly independent Palestinian state, and global cooperation to combat terrorism.

The Pope, speaking on his 79th birthday, made his appeal for world peace in his Easter "Urbi et Orbi" ( to the city and the world) message to nearly 100,000 people as he concluded of his pontificate.

The Pope, who marks the first anniversary of his election on Wednesday, led a joyful Easter mass in a sunny St.peter's Square on the most important day of the Christian liturgical calender, when the faithful celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead.

In the speech, televised to millions of viewers in more than 65 countries at the end of Easter on Sunday mass in the square, he listed his worries about problems facing the world, particularly in Africa, the West Asia and Latin America.

"Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honourable solution be found for all parties, through serious said honest negotiations..." he said in a clear reference to Iran, which announced last week it had become a nuclear power by enriching uranium.

In another part of the speech, the Pope defended Israel's right to exit, a passage which appeared to be an indirect criticism of statements by Iranian President Mahmound Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be eliminated.


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