Vatican opposes execution of Saddam's foreign minister
The Vatican has spoken out against the execution of former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, who was sentenced to death on Tuesday for the persecution of and efforts to "liquidate" Iraqi religious parties under Saddam Hussein's rule, dpa reported.
"The position of the Vatican with regard to the death sentence is known," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said late Tuesday.
"We thus hope that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be enforced, especially so that reconciliation and the re-establishment of peace and fairness in Iraq can be promoted after the great suffering it has lived through," he added.
Lombardi also noted that the Holy See normally "does not publicize its opinion, but is active through diplomatic channels."