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Cablegate: Vatican Looking Forward: U/S Bolton Reviews

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 VATICAN 001570

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR T U/S BOLTON, EUR, EUR/WE-MENNUTI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ IZ VT VTPREL VTPREL

SUBJECT: VATICAN LOOKING FORWARD: U/S BOLTON REVIEWS
POST-WAR IRAQ AND GLOBAL WMD THREATS WITH HOLY SEE FM AND
SENIOR OFFICIALS

REF: A. A) HARDT-PMAT 4/9 E-MAIL

B. B) 02 VATICAN 5461
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PAGE 02 VATICA 01570 01 OF 03 131013Z

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR JIM NICHOLSON. REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).


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SUMMARY
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1. (C) HOLY SEE FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN, CARDINAL STAFFORD, THE AMERICAN HEADS OF THE COUNCIL FOR LAITY, AND ITALIAN CARDINAL RUINI, WHO IS THE VICAR OF ROME AND HEAD OF THE ITALIAN BISHOPS CONFERENCE, TOLD UNDER SECRETARY BOLTON APRIL 9 THAT THEY ARE LOOKING TO IRAQ'S FUTURE AND ARE FOCUSED ON HUMANITARIAN RELIEF AND A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE. THEY CONVEYED THEIR ""RESPECT"" FOR THE DIFFICULT DECISION THE PRESIDENT HAD MADE, AND THEIR APPRECIATION FOR U.S. EFFORTS TO AVOID CIVILIAN CASUALTIES. TAURAN OFFERED THE ACTIVE COOPERATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN IRAQ TO FACILITATE FOOD AND MEDICINE DISTRIBUTION AND PREVENT LOCAL MAFIAS FROM
PROFITING ON SUCH DISTRIBUTION, AND BOLTON ACCEPTED HIS OFFER. TAURAN AND OTHERS URGED THAT THE UN BE GIVEN AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN IRAQI RECONSTRUCTION, AND CALLED ON THE U.S. TO INVOLVE AS MANY COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE IN THE PROCESS OF REBUILDING IRAQ AND IN DEALING WITH CONTINUING WMD THREATS
FROM NORTH KOREA, IRAN AND SYRIA. TAURAN WELCOMED BOLTON'S AFFIRMATION OF THE U.S. DESIRE TO INTENSIFY OUR EFFORTS TO OVERCOME THE CURRENT ARAB-ISRAELI IMPASSE. RUINI EXPRESSED HIS CONFIDENCE THAT SCENES OF JUBILANT IRAQI'S WOULD DRAMATICALLY SHIFT EUROPEAN OPINION ABOUT THE WAR. ""IF THE FUTURE GOES WELL,"" HE SAID, ""THE PAST WILL LOSE ITS IMPORTANCE."" END SUMMARY.

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PAGE 03 VATICA 01570 01 OF 03 131013Z


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VATICAN RESPECTS WAR DECISION, LOOKS TO FUTURE
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (C) IN MEETINGS APRIL 9 WITH HOLY SEE FOREIGN MINISTER
JEAN LOUIS TAURAN, VICAR OF ROME AND HEAD OF THE ITALIAN CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS CARDINAL CAMILLO RUINI, AND SENIOR AMERICAN CARDINAL JAMES FRANCIS STAFFORD, UNDER SECRETARY BOLTON EMPHASIZED THE PRESIDENT'S DESIRE TO CONTINUE A CLOSE DIALOGUE WITH THE HOLY SEE ON IRAQ AS WE MOVE FORWARD TO ADDRESS HUMANITARIAN PRIORITIES AND BUILD A PEACEFUL, DEMOCRATIC FUTURE FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE. TAURAN AND HIS COLLEAGUES MADE CLEAR THAT THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED IN CONTINUING A DEBATE ON THE MERITS OF WAR, BUT WERE LOOKING AHEAD AT HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND IRAQ'S FUTURE. ""THE DECISION WAS TAKEN. THAT'S DONE, AND WE RESPECT THE DECISION THE PRESIDENT HAS TAKEN,"" TAURAN SAID. RUINI LIKEWISE RECOGNIZED THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD WEIGHED THE DECISION CAREFULLY AND THAT IT WAS CLEAR THE UNITED STATES WAS DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PREVENT CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN THE CONDUCT OF THE
WAR.

-------------------------------------------
OFFER TO FACILITATE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
-------------------------------------------

3. (C) IN LIGHT OF THE HOLY SEE'S PREOCCUPATION WITH THE
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, TAURAN TOLD UNDER SECRETARY BOLTON THAT THE CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN IRAQ HAD AN EFFECTIVE, WELL-ORGANIZED NETWORK IN KEY IRAQI CITIES THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO FACILITATE THE DISTRIBUTION OF FOODS AND MEDICINES. THE
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PAGE 04 VATICA 01570 01 OF 03 131013Z
APOSTOLIC NUNCIO IN BAGHDAD, MONSIGNOR FERNANDO FILONI, HAD REPORTED TO TAURAN THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF NEUTRAL POINTS OF DISTRIBUTION, LOCAL MAFIAS WERE SPRINGING UP, TAKING THE GOODS, AND PROFITEERING. ACCORDING TO THE NUNCIO, THE LOCAL CHURCHES WERE WILLING TO HELP AVERT THIS. TAURAN SAID HE HAS
ASKED THE LOCAL BISHOPS TO MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE TO MEET WITH U.S. FORCES AND HUMANITARIAN AID PROVIDERS, AND PROVIDED NAMES OF BISHOPS IN KEY CITIES (REF A). U/S BOLTON ACCEPTED TAURAN'S OFFER AND PROMISED TO PASS ALONG THE NAMES TO THE
DEPARTMENT'S POLITICAL-MILITARY ACTION TEAM. TAURAN SAID HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SITUATION IN THE HOSPITALS WAS THE MOST DRAMATIC AND IN NEED OF SUPPORT.


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UN ROLE
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4. (C) THE HOLY SEE HAS PUBLICLY SUPPORTED A PROMINENT ROLE FOR THE UN IN IRAQI RELIEF AND RECONSTRUCTION, AND CARDINALS RUINI AND STAFFORD ADVOCATED THAT THE U.S. SEEK TO INVOLVE AS MANY OTHER COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE IN THIS PROCESS. RUINI COMMENTED THAT, IN THE PROCESS OF WORKING WITH OTHERS ON PRACTICAL ISSUES, SOME OF THE RECENT TENSIONS WOULD QUICKLY

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PAGE 01 VATICA 01570 02 OF 03 131014Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 PERC-00 DS-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 MED-07 NEA-00
NSAE-00 DHS-00 PM-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 SS-00 T-00
EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 G-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00
/007W
------------------54FF3D 131014Z /38
O 131014Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 VATICAN 001570

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR T U/S BOLTON, EUR, EUR/WE-MENNUTI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ IZ VT VTPREL VTPREL
SUBJECT: VATICAN LOOKING FORWARD: U/S BOLTON REVIEWS
POST-WAR IRAQ AND GLOBAL WMD THREATS WITH HOLY SEE FM AND
SENIOR OFFICIALS

DISSIPATE. BOLTON RESPONDED THAT THE UN WOULD, AS THE
PRESIDENT HAD STATED, PLAY A VITAL ROLE. HOWEVER, IT WAS
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PAGE 02 VATICA 01570 02 OF 03 131014Z
IMPORTANT NOT TO GET BOGGED DOWN IN THEOLOGICAL DEBATES ABOUT THE NATURE OF THIS ROLE. THE ISSUE AT HAND WAS NOT WHETHER THE U.S. OR UN WOULD CONTROL IRAQ, BUT HOW SOON CONTROL COULD BE TURNED OVER TO A LEGITIMATE IRAQI AUTHORITY. IN THE MEANTIME, IT WAS VITAL TO CONCENTRATE ON RESOLVING PRACTICAL ISSUES TO PROVIDE RELIEF TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE. IN THIS, THE
UN WOULD PLAY A CENTRAL ROLE, BOLTON ASSURED HIS
INTERLOCUTORS. TAURAN CONCURRED THAT THIS WAS VITAL, AND OBSERVED THAT THE IRAQI PEOPLE WERE ""INTELLECTUALLY WELL-EQUIPPED,"" WHICH WOULD FACILITATE AN EARLY TRANSITION TO IRAQI AUTHORITY. TO REINFORCE THIS POINT HE QUOTED AN ARAB
APHORISM THAT ""BOOKS WERE WRITTEN IN CAIRO, PRINTED IN LEBANON, AND READ IN BAGHDAD."" BOLTON AFFIRMED THAT THE U.S. HAD NO DESIRE FOR A LONG OCCUPATION. OUR GOALS, HE ADDED, WERE TO FIND AND DESTROY WMD, PRESERVE EXTERNAL SECURITY IN THE SHORT-TERM, AND TURN AUTHORITY OVER TO LEGITIMATE, DEMOCRATIC IRAQI AUTHORITY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. RUINI ALSO WELCOMED THIS COMMITMENT, OBSERVING ""IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO
TURN AUTHORITY OVER TO IRAQI'S IN A SHORT TIME, THAT WOULD BE IDEAL.""

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THE BROADER WMD THREAT
----------------------

5. (C) WITH ALL OF HIS VATICAN INTERLOCUTORS, BOLTON REVIEWED THE BROADER WMD THREAT, STRESSING THAT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE NOT MILITARY WEAPONS, AND CAN ONLY BE USED TO KILL CIVILIANS, AS SADDAM HUSSEIN HAD WITH HIS OWN PEOPLE.
ALL VATICAN INTERLOCUTORS EXPRESSED CONCERN WITH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, NOTING FEARS THAT THE WAR ON IRAQ COULD BE FOLLOWED
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PAGE 03 VATICA 01570 02 OF 03 131014Z
WITH OTHER ACTIONS AGAINST IRAN, SYRIA, OR NORTH KOREA. BOLTON MADE CLEAR THAT IRAQ WAS NOT A MODEL FOR NORTH KOREA, IRAN OR SYRIA, AND THAT THERE IS NO 'COOKIE CUTTER' APPROACH TO RESOLVING THESE ISSUES. HE POINTED OUT THAT WE WERE ACTIVELY PURSUING DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES IN ALL OF THESE
CASES, AND THAT WE HOPED THESE COUNTRIES WOULD DRAW THE RIGHT LESSON FROM THE IRAQ EXAMPLE: THAT IT WAS NOT WORTH IT FOR THEM TO CONTINUE PURSUING WMD. ALL THREE VATICAN OFFICIALS EXPRESSED THEIR BELIEF THAT THE U.S. SHOULD SEEK TO WORK WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IN A MULTILATERAL EFFORT TO DEAL WITH THESE
THREATS TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.


6. (C) TURNING TO SPECIFIC COUNTRIES, TAURAN FOCUSED FIRST ON NORTH KOREA, ABOUT WHICH HE ACKNOWLEDGED THE HOLY SEE HAD LIMITED UNDERSTANDING. BOLTON REVIEWED THE BACKGROUND TO THE DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH KOREAN PROGRAM AND OUR EFFORTS TO
PERSUADE NORTH KOREA TO ABANDON ITS PROGRAM. HE EMPHASIZED THAT WE WERE ACTIVELY TRYING TO ENGAGE CHINA AND RUSSIA TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED, WHILE WORKING WITH JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA. HE POINTED OUT THE HIGH STAKES INVOLVED, GIVEN SUPPORT IN JAPAN FOR A NUCLEAR PROGRAM TO COUNTER A NORTH KOREAN THREAT AND THE SUBSEQUENT POTENTIAL FOR AN ASIAN ARMS
RACE BETWEEN JAPAN AND CHINA.


7. (C) ON IRAN, BOLTON OUTLINED LONG-STANDING CONCERNS THAT IRAN WAS PURSUING A COMPLETE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM THAT WOULD GIVE THE IRANIANS THE CAPACITY TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. HE REVIEWED OUR EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE RUSSIA TO CUT OFF ASSISTANCE, AND THE FINDINGS FROM THE RECENT VISIT OF THE IAEA INSPECTORS, WHICH SURPRISED MANY IN THE IAEA. TAURAN ASKED WHETHER WE FOUND RUSSIA TO BE A RELIABLE INTERLOCUTOR,
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PAGE 04 VATICA 01570 02 OF 03 131014Z
NOTING THAT THE HOLY SEE FOUND THEY HAD GOOD RESULTS FROM TOP RUSSIAN LEADERSHIP, BUT THAT THERE WAS NO FOLLOW THROUGH FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. TAURAN ALSO EMPHASIZED THAT
THE HOLY SEE REGARDED IRAN AS ""A KEY COUNTRY"" IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND URGED THAT WE SUPPORT ANY SIGNS OF A ""DEMOCRATIC OPENING."" BOLTON SAID WE REMAINED DEEPLY CONCERNED BY RECENT SYRIAN ACTIONS AS WELL AS SYRIA'S CONTINUED PURSUIT OF WMD.
TAURAN SAID HE BELIEVED THE BRITISH COULD PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE WITH SYRIA, WHILE BOLTON NOTED THAT THE FRENCH COULD ALSO BE CONSTRUCTIVE.

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REINVIGORATING MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
----------------------------------------

8. (C) BOLTON ASSURED TAURAN AND THE OTHER OFFICIALS THAT THE U.S. WAS COMMITTED TO REINVIGORATING OUR EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CRISIS ONCE THE IRAQ CRISIS WAS BEHIND US. HE ADDED THAT THE PRESIDENT WOULD DEEPEN HIS ALREADY CONSIDERABLE INVOLVEMENT ONCE THE NEW PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER WAS IN PLACE AND HAD AUTHORITY TO ACT EFFECTIVELY. TAURAN WELCOMED THIS COMMITMENT, COMMENTING
THAT THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DISPUTE WAS ""THE MOTHER OF ALL

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CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2800

PAGE 01 VATICA 01570 03 OF 03 131014Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 PERC-00 DS-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 MED-07 NEA-00
NSAE-00 DHS-00 PM-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 SS-00 T-00
EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 G-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00
/007W
------------------54FF41 131014Z /38
O 131014Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 VATICAN 001570

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR T U/S BOLTON, EUR, EUR/WE-MENNUTI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ IZ VT VTPREL VTPREL
SUBJECT: VATICAN LOOKING FORWARD: U/S BOLTON REVIEWS
POST-WAR IRAQ AND GLOBAL WMD THREATS WITH HOLY SEE FM AND
SENIOR OFFICIALS

PROBLEMS"" IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

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PAGE 02 VATICA 01570 03 OF 03 131014Z


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AVOIDING A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
---------------------------------

9. (C) BOTH CARDINALS SPOKE AT LENGTH ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF AVOIDING PERCEPTIONS OF A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS BETWEEN THE MUSLIM WORLD AND THE WEST -- A RECENT PREOCCUPATION OF THE HOLY SEE (SEPTEL). CARDINAL STAFFORD RECOUNTED AN EXPERIENCE
CHAIRING A MEETING IN LEBANON WHERE HE WAS SHARPLY CRITICIZED BECAUSE OF HIS AMERICAN NATIONALITY, AND SAID THE DEPTH OF HOSTILITY TOWARD THE UNITED STATES WAS DEEPLY TROUBLING TO HIM. WHILE RECOGNIZING THAT CRITICISM CAME WITH THE TERRITORY OF BEING THE ONLY SUPERPOWER, HE ALSO BELIEVED THAT THE U.S. NEEDED TO ACT WITH HUMILITY AND DO A BETTER JOB OFDEMONSTRATING OUR CONCERN FOR THE PRIORITIES OF OTHER
COUNTRIES.


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OVERCOMING TRANSATLANTIC TENSIONS
---------------------------------


10. (C) CARDINAL RUINI, ONE OF THE POPE'S CLOSEST
COLLABORATORS AND SOMEONE CONSIDERED A POTENTIAL SUCCESSOR TO JOHN PAUL II, EXPRESSED HIS CONCERN FOR THE WEAKENING OF NATO AND THE UN AS A RESULT OF THE IRAQ CRISIS, AND URGED THAT WE ENSURE BOTH INSTITUTIONS ARE REPAIRED. AS PRESIDENT OF THE
ITALIAN BISHOPS CONFERENCE, RUINI IS PLUGGED INTO THE
DOMESTIC ITALIAN POLITICAL SCENE, AND CITED HIS CONCERN THAT ITALY -- WHICH USED TO BE PRO-U.S. -- WAS LOSING THIS
ORIENTATION. HE CITED A SIMILAR WORRYING TREND IN GERMANY. HE NOTED A DISTRUST OF FRANCE, WHICH HE NOTED HARBORED GLOBAL
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PAGE 03 VATICA 01570 03 OF 03 131014Z
AMBITIONS THAT WERE ALIEN TO ITALY AND GERMANY AFTER WWII. ALTHOUGH MOST ITALIANS REMAINED WARY OF THE FRENCH, RUINI WORRIED THAT THE FRENCH APPROACH COULD BECOME DOMINANT IN EUROPE UNLESS CURRENT DIVISIONS WERE REPAIRED. THE KEY TO DOING SO, ACCORDING TO RUINI, WAS TO ""MAKE CLEAR THE U.S WAS FOR PEACE."" IN THIS REGARD, HE OBSERVED THAT IMAGES OF IRAQIS WARMLY WELCOMING AMERICAN TROOPS IN THE DAYS AHEAD WOULD HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON EUROPEAN PUBLIC OPINION. ""IF THE FUTURE GOES WELL,"" HE CONCLUDED, ""THE PAST WILL LOSE ITS IMPORTANCE."" BOLTON ASSURED RUINI THAT THE WORLD WOULD SEE
THAT THE U.S. MOTIVES WERE EXACTLY WHAT WE HAD SAID THEY WERE -- ELIMINATE THE WMD THREAT, END A BRUTAL DICTATORSHIP, AND GIVE THE IRAQI PEOPLE A CHANCE FOR A BETTER LIFE.


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COMMENT
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11. (C) COMING ON THE MORNING OF THE COLLAPSE OF BAGHDAD, BOLTON'S VISIT SERVED TO PUT AN END TO THE PRE-WAR PERIOD OF DIVISION OVER THE NECESSITY OF RESORT TO FORCE AND TO REFOCUS THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP ON THE FUTURE FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE
AND OUR BROADER AGENDA, INCLUDING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT. A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THE MEETINGS WITH OVER THIRTY MEMBERS OF INTERNATIONAL, CATHOLIC, AND ITALIAN MEDIA EVOKED ALMOST UNIVERSALLY POSITIVE COVERAGE OF WARMING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND VATICAN, WHILE HIGHLIGHTING U.S. APPRECIATION FOR THE HOLY SEE'S WILLINGNESS TO COOPERATE
IN HUMANITARIAN RELIEF EFFORTS. THE HOLY SEE IS CLEARLY
READY TO MOVE ON FROM THE PERCEPTION OF DIVISION GENERATED BY THE RUN-UP TO WAR AND TO MOVE AHEAD WITH HUMANITARIAN RELIEF,
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PAGE 04 VATICA 01570 03 OF 03 131014Z
A REINVIGORATED MIDDLE EAST PEACE EFFORT, AND CONTINUED EFFORTS TO BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN THE CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM WORLDS. IN THIS REGARD, AN APRIL 10 PRESS RELEASE FROM THE VATICAN CALLED THE EVENTS IN IRAQ ""AN IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT AND A SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FUTURE OF THE
POPULATION."" THE RELEASE ALSO REITERATED THE VATICAN'S DESIRE TO PROVIDE NECESSARY ASSISTANCE AND TO WORK WITH ALL CONCERNED TO CREATE LASTING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. EMBASSY APPRECIATES UNDER SECRETARY BOLTON'S TIMELY VISIT AND RECOMMENDS WASHINGTON CONTINUE THIS HIGH-LEVEL ENGAGEMENT TO EXPAND COOPERATION ON THESE ISSUES.


12. (C) U/S BOLTON DID NOT REVIEW THIS CABLE.

NICHOLSON
CONFIDENTIAL

>

2003VATICA01570 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

"

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