Pope Benedict XVI called his upcoming trip to the Middle East a "pilgrimage of peace," AFP reported.
Speaking in Rome on Saturday, the pontiff was quoted as saying, "For more than 60 years, this region - the land of our Lord's birth, death and resurrection, a sacred place for the world's three great monotheistic religions - has been plagued by violence and injustice."
"This has led to a general atmosphere of mistrust, uncertainty and fear - often pitting neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother," he went on.
He was also quoted as saying that he hoped all people in Israel and the entire region ""receive the gifts of reconciliation, hope and peace."
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