VATICAN CITY, 20 JUN 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today, Benedict XVI launched "a pressing appeal for peace and security to be promptly re-established in southern Kyrgyzstan, following the serious clashes of recent days".

The Pope expressed his closeness to the victims and gave assurances of his prayers for everyone suffering because of this tragedy. He also invited "all the ethnic communities of the country to renounce any form of provocation or violence", and asked "the international community to strive to that humanitarian aid can soon reach the people affected".

The Holy Father then went on to recall the fact that today marks the United Nations' annual World Refugee Day, which aims "to call attention to the problems of people who have been forced to leave their lands and familiar customs, often taking refuge in profoundly different environments. Refugees wish to be welcomed and to see their dignity and fundamental rights recognised. At the same time they intend to make their own contribution to the society that welcomes them, We pray that, with due reciprocity, refugees' expectations may find an adequate response, and they may demonstrate the respect they nourish for the identity of the communities that receive them".

ANG/                                                                                                VIS 20100621 (220)

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