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Sunday, December 20, 1998 Published at 13:37 GMT

World: Middle East

Pope "bitter" about Iraq attacks

Pope John Paul has expressed his bitterness and profound sorrow for the Iraqi people in the wake of the air strikes.

In his weekly address to about ten thousand people at the Vatican, the Pope said he was bitter to see how often the hopes placed in international law to resolve conflicts had been disappointed.

He said the Christmas atmosphere made the suffering of Iraqi people in recent days more acute, and nobody could remain indifferent to their tragedy.

The Pope said war was never the right way to resolve problems between nations.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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