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Address to Diplomats Accredited to the Holy See


Pope John Paul II
January 11, 1999


However, the culture of peace is far from being universal, as the centers of persistent dissension testify. Not far from us, the Balkan region continues to experience a time of great instability. We cannot yet speak of normalization in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the effects of the war are still being felt in inter-ethnic relations, where half the population remains displaced and where social tensions dangerously persist. 

Again recently, Kosovo has been the scene of deadly confrontations for both ethnic and political reasons which have prevented a peaceful dialogue between the parties and hindered any economic development. Everything must be done to help the people of Kosovo and the Serbs to meet around a table in order to defuse without delay the armed suspicion which paralyzes and kills. Albania and Macedonia would be the first to benefit, since in the Balkans all things are closely related. ...

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