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Iraq war did not make world safer

VATICAN CITY (CNS): A leading Vatican official has told the United Nations that the war in Iraq did not make the world safer and that defeating terrorism would require multilateral co-operation that goes beyond short-term military operations.

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, who is the Vatican’s top foreign affairs official, made the remarks on September 29 in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

Archbishop Lajolo offered a far-ranging review of Vatican positions on peace and justice issues, saying global poverty must be the number 1 priority for the United Nations and for all international agencies.

He noted that hundreds of millions of people are living below the threshold of what is necessary, and tens of millions of children are undernourished.

Turning to Iraq, Archbishop Lajolo said the Vatican’s opposition to military action in Iraq was well known.

Under the present circumstance, he added, the Vatican believes it is imperative to support the provisional Iraqi government as it tries to bring the country to normality and establish a political system that is “substantially democratic and in harmony with the values of its historic traditions”.

He called terrorism an “aberrant phenomenon, utterly unworthy of man” that today threatens all countries.

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