At the end of the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass, marking the beginning of Holy Week, John Paul II cried out to the world: "It is never too late to meet and negotiate! On this day, let us fervently ask the 'Prince of Peace,' who comes to us so defenseless, to inspire in all those who take up arms" with his peace, the Pope exhorted. Fraternity and understanding must prevail over the forces of hatred, including in this area of Europe!"
    At the end of the ceremony, the Holy Father's farewell was charged with emotion: "The Pope is close to the people who suffer and cries to all: every hour is right for peace! It is never too late to meet and negotiate!"
   Meanwhile Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls confirmed an Italian public television report that the Vatican is moving with determination to reach a ceasefire and to return the parties in conflict to the negotiating table. For the time being, he remarked, it is "premature" to reveal details of this initiative.

Zenit 29/03/99 10:19:16


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