Islamic-Catholic talks urge an end to all armed conflict

Posted: Friday, January 30, 2004

VATICAN CITY (AP) After two days of talks, a Muslim-Roman Catholic committee called for an end to ''all forms of armed conflict,'' the Vatican announced. The statement did not cite specific conflicts.

The Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee said, ''We appeal for an immediate end to all conflicts, including all forms of armed conflict, as well as all forms of aggression against the security and stability of peoples. We affirm the rights of peoples to self-determination, so that human life be spared, especially that of innocent people, children, women, the elderly and the disabled.''

The committee also called for religious freedom, protection of places of worship, respect for humanitarian law and access to water, food or medical care.

The committee is headed by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Prof. Hamid bin Ahmad al-Rafaie, president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, based in Saudi Arabia.

Pope John Paul II met with the group, and encouraged them to keep working toward peace.

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