Papal Envoy Meets With Saddam Hussein Hoping to Prevent Iraq War

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Papal envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray and Monsignor Franco Coppola of the Vatican Secretariat of State meet in Iraq with Saddam Hussein. The two men have been sent by Pope John Paul II in an effort to find some way to prevent war between Iraq and the United States.

Afterwards, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray tells Italian telvision "He [Saddam Hussein] is doing everything to avoid war." Hussein complains to Etchegaray that the West is imposing a double standard on Iraq:

"What is wanted from Iraq? Isn't it the right of the Iraqis and Arabs to say that the reason for this aggression is because Iraq is an Arab Muslim country?

Then why is this aggressiveness with false pretexts, although Iraq does not have any weapons of mass destruction at a time Israel has all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, kill the Palestinians and destroy their property though they are an unarmed people. Isn't this a clear racial and religious discrimination? ...

I think if the Pope addresses this question, he will be influential in Christian communities. This is his historic responsibility and his responsibility in front of God."
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