Page 1, 2nd October 1970

2nd October 1970
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Page 1, 2nd October 1970 — Middle East tension discussed at Vatican
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Locations: ROME, Saratoga

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Middle East tension discussed at Vatican

FROM ALAN McELWAIN IN ROME

POPE PAUL and Mr. Richard Nixon spoke for the moment" during the U.S. President's visit

President Nixon also invited the Pope to visit the United States. He recalled Pope Paul's appearance before the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1965. We hope we will have the privilege of another visit." he said.

During their talk on Monday the explosive Middle, East situation was given special attention. It was stressed that the present developments threatened the Arab-Israeli ceasefire and the prospect of possible negotiations.

Pope Paul said he hoped negotiations would be resumed promptly and effectively.

73rd birthday

Pope Paul expressed similar hopes for peace in South Fast Asia, in !the with justice and the desires of the peoples directly involved.

He told the President of his "profound preoccupation with the cause of peace" and of the special need in this moment for all to work for that cause.

War, he said, inflicted its suffering not only on the combatants, but also on innocent people and children who did not even comprehend the meaning of the word "war".

The Pope. who was 73 on Saturday, said his anxiety was heightened by conflicts in numerous countries. which had "assumed the proportions of a vast and terrifying conflagration".

He encouraged every initiative aimed at the effective reduction of armaments and advocated an ever freer economic and technical effort to bring about a human development corresponding to the real needs of the peoples and to their dignity and freedom.

`Different power'

President Nixon assured the Pope the United States would do everything in its power to support these aims. He referred to America's great military power, but said spiritual power was even more effective.

one hour and 20 minutes on the "grave problems of to Rome this week.

Speaking a few hours before he flew from Rome to the U.S. aircraft carrier Saratoga in the Mediterranean. he told

the Pope: will he flying to sea and there I will see the mightiest military forces in the world. But today, here in this room (Pope Paul's private library). I have had the opportunity to hear expressed a different kind of power—the spiritual power which moves nations and moves men."

President Nixon had flown to the Vatican by helicopter and was due to leave in it from St. Peter's Square. But after his talk with Pope Paul. he surprised bis security force by deciding to drive through Rome by car so that he could see and meet the crowds lining the streets.

This he did and was given a tremendous reception along the well-guarded route to the Quirinale Palace. where he was the guest of President Saragat.

Hostages greeted

He also broke away from his official schedule when, accompanied by the Italian Premier Sgr. Emilio Colombo and the U.S. Secretary of State Mr William P. Rogers. he went to Rome's Fiumicino airport to welcome 26 Americans returning home after three weeks as hostages of Arab guerillas. "I think I feel as happy as you do", the President told them as they crowded about him.

There were various Communist-inspired street demonstrations during the Presidential visit. but these were contained by specially reinforced police in one of the tightest security controls ever placed on Rome.

When he hoarded the Saratoga on Monday night. President Nixon was told of the death of President Nasser of the United Arab Republic. Pope Paul sent a cable to Vice-President Anwar El-S?dat which said: "Profoundly saddened by the sudden death of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. We express our heartfelt sympathy with Your Excellency and all the beloved people of the United Arab Republic. praying the Almighty God always to favour your country with a tranquil and prosperous future."




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