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From the Vatican:

Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano today made the following declaration on Vatican Radio:

  "The news we are receiving from the Middle East is certainly worrying.

  "The Holy Father Benedict XVI and all his collaborators are following with great attention the latest dramatic episodes, which risk degenerating into a conflict with international repercussions.

  "As in the past, the Holy See also condemns both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other. Indeed, a State’s right to self-defense does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations.

  "In particular, the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and gives assurances of its closeness to those people who have suffered so much in the defense of their own independence.

  "Once again, it appears obvious that the only path worthy of our civilization is that of sincere dialogue between the contending parties.

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