November 25, 2007 / 12:19 PM / 10 years ago

Pray for success of Annapolis conference, Pope urges

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Sunday called for a "just and definitive" solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, asking the world to pray for the success of the Annapolis conference.

Benedict, speaking at his weekly address, asked that all join in a day of prayer called for Sunday by U.S. Catholic bishops for a positive outcome to the conference.

He said he hoped the conference would be able to find a "just and definitive solution to the conflict that for 60 years has been bloodying the Holy Land and which has caused so many tears and so much suffering among the two peoples".

Speaking from the steps of St Peter's Basilica after a ceremony with new cardinals, he asked that all join in "imploring God for peace for that region which is so dear to us and to grant the gifts of wisdom and courage to all who take part in this important meeting".

The conference starts on Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland.

It is aimed at resuming talks on a final Palestinian peace with Israel, seven years after a summit at Camp David hosted by President George W. Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton collapsed.

The Vatican supports a Palestinian state and Israel's right to exist in security.

Reporting by Philip Pullella

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