Pope urges solution to conflicts everywhere

Pope Benedict XVI urged peaceful solutions to crises worldwide, singling out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and violence in Africa, in his annual Christmas Day address. "With deep apprehension I think, on this festive day, of the Middle East, marked by so many grave crises and conflicts, and I express my hope that the way will be opened to a just and lasting peace," Benedict said Monday, making a special mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I place in the hands of the divine Child of Bethlehem the indications of a resumption of dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which we have witnessed in recent days, and the hope of further encouraging developments," the pontiff added.