Page 1, 6th November 1970

6th November 1970
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Page 1, 6th November 1970 — Pope calls for prayers on Middle East cease-fire
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Pope calls for prayers on Middle East cease-fire

FROM A ROME CORRESPONDENT

A CALL to all Christians to pray for an extension of the Middle East 90-day cease-fire was made by Pope Paul on Sunday. All Saints' Day, addressing the crowds in St. Peter's Square.

He said, without naming any country. that failure to extend the truce, due to expire yesterday. "could make the struggle more serious, perhaps involving other Powers outside the nations directly involved in a trial of force."

If the truce were no extended, he stressed. the hopes of peace and the possibility of a just settlement of the conflict would be compromised for "so,: knows how long.

"We should all pray for the positive outcome of the discussions under way at the United Nations about the extension of the cease-fire."

Reminding his listeners that it was All Saints Day, he also invoked the "heavenly intervention" of saints in the cause of peace.

SAINTS INVOKED Saying that he was "anxiously awaiting the vote" at the United Nations, he added that he believed the cease-fire would be extended.

He had "faith in the responsible reflections and deliberation of interested parties, in the impartial wisdom of the Great Powers, and confidence in the free and well-balanced judgement of the General Assembly of the United Nations."

According to reports from Cairo, Egyptian government officials welcomed Pope Paul's plea for an extension of the cease-fire, but said Cairo continued to insist that such an extension should lead to a resumption of peace talks under Dr. Gunnar Jarring, the United Nations mediator.

One government official said: "We appreciate the Pope's concern about the Middle East situation and his desire to see the ceasefire extended, which we share.

"But Cairo sticks to its view, already expressed by President Sadat, that any extension should hold the promise of reactivation of Dr. Jarring's peace mission, otherwise it would be an exercise in futility."




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