UN official says Pope's visit will help Christian-Moslem ties

Other News Materials 11 April 2008 21:56 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Pope Benedict XVI's address to the UN General Assembly next week will contribute solutions to the conflicts between the Christian and Islamic worlds, the president of the 192-nation body said Friday.

Srgjan Kerim said the Vatican has been playing a crucial role in UN discussions ranging from human rights to humanitarian assistance. He said Benedict's visit on April 18 will enhance the UN-Vatican relationship.

"We are sharing some values and mission in the world and for the people," said Kerim, a former foreign minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

"The pope has been invited to speak and convey a message," he said. "More than ever, we need to articulate a clear and profound dialogue among cultures and religions because of the serious problems occurring between Christians and Moslems."

Benedict is expected to arrive at UN headquarters on Friday at 10:45 am, first for meetings with Kerim and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He will meet with government representatives and then address the General Assembly at 12:50 pm before leaving the UN at around 1:30 pm.

The papal visit will be the fourth since Pope Paul VI visited in 1967, followed by John Paul II in 1979 and 1995.