Pope calls for peace among peoples during visit to southern Italy

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday renewed his call for cooperation and peace among peoples, especially those who live in countries touched by the Mediterranean and in the Mideast. "I wish to renew the Christian message for cooperation and peace among all peoples, especially among those that surround this sea - an ancient cradle of civilization - and those in the Near and Middle East," he told thousands of faithful gathered in a large industrial space in the southeastern Italian port city of Brindisi. Quoting from his own speech to the United Nations in April, the pope renewed his call for conflict resolution "by exploring any possible diplomatic way." An estimated 70,000 faithful attended the pope's open-air Mass and his Angelus prayer on Sunday. The faithful cheered as Benedict arrived in his popemobile. He smiled and waved to the crowd gathered under the sun. The pontiff is on a two-day trip to the Puglia region, which makes up Italy's "heel." Later Sunday he meets with local clergy before returning to the Vatican.