Pope calls for urgent aid for civilians in Syria

  • Associated Press
  • January 7, 2013 - 5:48 AM

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has urged diplomats to supply urgent aid to Syria to relieve civilian suffering, while expressing hope that Jerusalem would become `'a city of peace and not of division."

Benedict addressed urgent crises around the world in an annual speech to diplomats Monday. Starting with the Middle East, `'that privileged region in God's plan," the pope warned that continued conflict in Syria will leave `'nothing but a field of ruins." The pope said he hoped Israelis and Palestinians will commit `'to peaceful coexistence."

Addressing the economic crisis closer to home, the pontiff called on the European Union to make `'farsighted" and `'difficult" policy decisions favoring growth.

He called on policymakers to monitor closely the disparity between rich and poor as they do differences in bond market yields.

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