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Colin Powell to attempt relations patch with Vatican

US Secretary of State Colin Powell will make a lightning trip on Monday to talk to Pope John Paul, following deep divisions between the Vatican and Washington over the war in Iraq.

The meeting will be the first by a top member of the US administration with the Pope since the end of the war, which the Vatican refused to sanction as a Just War.

The Church and diplomatic sources said Powell's brief visit would be centred around the Vatican stop, although he will also meet Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

The visit is apparently aimed at trying to mend relations between Washington and the Vatican after the war.

The Pope was a key player in an international campaign to avert the war. He sent envoys to both President Bush and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on peace missions before the conflict started.


Colin Powell Will Visit Pope to Discuss Mideast (Zenit)
U.S. Secretary of State Powell to meet pope, top Vatican officials (Catholic News Service)

30 May 2003