Iraqi opposition demand the Pope not visit Iraq
Iraq, Politics, 9/3/1999
The Iraqi opposition urged yesterday Pope John Paul II not to visit Iraq, whose people are suffering from international sanctions, blaming the Iraqi government for the suffering.
In a statement, the opposition expressed its hopes that Pope will not visit Iraq, which they said is ruled by a tyrant whose hands are stained with the blood of innocents.
The people signing the statement, moreover, called the Pope to raise his voice loudly in defense of justice and human rights violated in Iraq and in solidarity with the Iraqi people, who it said are suffering under a dictatorship and difficult conditions due to the international sanctions.
In a document released last June, Pope Paul II said that in celebration of the new millennium he wants to visit Iraq.
The statement of the Iraqi opposition said, "We have anxiously followed up press reports concerning the visit of the Pope to Iraq and the possibility of meeting the dictator ruler Saddam Hussein, and so according to these reports, the Iraqi regime and its media bodies began to exploit the good intentions of the Pope to serve its private interests."
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