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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 16:34 GMT
Sports stars appeal for peace
Brazilian footballer Ronaldo
Many of the biggest names in sport signed the peace appeal
More than 200 sports stars based in Italy have signed a petition calling for an end to the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

The appeal, published in Italian newspapers, was made in support of a humanitarian organisation, which works with the victims of war.


Dialogue and integration can achieve more than any weapon

Peace petition

The petition was initiated by Italian international footballer Damiano Tommasi, and included footballing stars such as Argentine Gabriel Batistuta, Brazilian Ronaldo and Italy's Francesco Totti.

Formula One racing driver Jarno Trulli, boxer Allessandro Duran and skier Deborah Compagnoni have also added their names to to the statement.

Totti
Francesco Totti also added his name to the petition

The petition argues that "dialogue and integration can achieve more than any weapon."

"At this moment it is difficult to talk about peace without being misunderstood, but we intend to release an appeal for this war to finish and no others to commence," says the appeal.

It also stresses that the desire for peace does not mean a lack of respect for those who in the 11 September attacks.

The peace petition was signed as Italy announced that it would send its troops to join the US-led military operation in Afghanistan.

The Italian defence minister Antonio Martino said the operation was a "struggle of civilisation against barbarity".

See also:

07 Nov 01 | Europe
Italy commits 2,700 troops to war
30 Oct 01 | Europe
Terror suspect wanted in Italy
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