VATICAN CITY, 27 MAR 2011 (VIS) - "Faced with the increasingly dramatic news coming out of Libya, I am becoming progressively more concerned about the wellbeing and safety of civilians, and apprehensive over the developments in the situation, which is currently characterised by the use of arms", said the Pope following today's Angelus.

"At times of greater tension it is even more essential to make use of all means at the disposal of diplomacy, and to support even the faintest sign of openness and of desire for reconciliation between the parties involved, in the search for peaceful and lasting solutions.

"In this perspective, as I raise my prayers to the Lord for a return to harmony in Libya and in the entire region of North Africa, I make a heartfelt appeal to international organisations and to political and military leaders for the immediate launch of a dialogue that will halt the use of arms.

"My thoughts also go to the authorities and the citizens of the Middle East where various episodes of violence have taken place over recent days. There too, may the path of dialogue and reconciliation be favoured, in the search for just and fraternal coexistence".

ANG/                                                                                                VIS 20110328 (210)

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