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Pope seeks common ground with Iran

Pope John Paul II met yesterday with Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, expressing confidence in a "spirit of collaboration" between the Holy See and the Islamic regime.

In his public remarks to his Iranian visitor, which were delivered in English, the Pope saluted the 50 years of formal diplomatic ties between Iran and the Holy See. He made no mention of the abrupt change that occurred with the Islamic revolution that swept Iran 25 years ago.

However, the Pope did mention that the Vatican and the Shi'ite regime share "issues of mutual concern," and expressed the hope that the two would continue working together "to safeguard the inalienate rights and dignity of the human person."

After a private meeting between Kharrazi and the Pontiff, the Vatican revealed that the topics of conversation had included the situation of the Catholic Church in Iran, as well as inter-religious dialogue and "other international questions on which the viewpoints of the two states converge."

Pope seeks common ground with Iran (Catholic World News 12/2/04)

Pope urges Iran to continue cooperating with nuclear inspections (San Francisco Chronicle/AP 12/2/04)
Pope meets Palestinian PM, condemns Israeli barrier (Manora Online 12/2/04)
Pope Highlights "Precious Contribution" of the Sick (Zenit 11/2/04)
Pope meets Qorei, raps Israeli security wall (Catholic World News 12/2/04)
Pope meets Colombian president (Catholic World News 12/2/04)
Pope prays and seeks help for Iran's earthquake victims ( 28/12/03)

13 Feb 2004