Vatican City, 29 July 2012 (VIS) - "I am continuing to follow with concern the tragic and increasing violence in Syria, with its depressing sequence of deaths and injuries, also among civilians, and huge numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring States", said the Pope after praying the Angelus. "I therefore ask that the necessary humanitarian assistance and aid be guaranteed. In renewing the expression of my closeness to the suffering people, and my recollection of them in my prayers, I renew my appeal for all violence and bloodshed to end. I ask God to give wisdom of heart, especially to those in positions of greatest responsibility, so that no effort many be spared in the search for peace, also on the part of the international community, through dialogue and reconciliation, with a view to finding an adequate political solution to the conflict.
"My thoughts also go", he added, "to the dear nation of Iraq which has recently suffered numerous serious attacks that have left many dead and injured. May that great country discover the path to stability, reconciliation and peace".Benedict XVI also turned his attention to the ILVA steelworks in the Italian city of Taranto, which may soon be forced to close due to problems associated with the emission of toxic waste. "I wish to express my closeness to the workers and their families, who are experiencing this difficult time with great apprehension", he said. "While giving assurances of the prayers and support of the Church, I exhort everyone to show a sense of responsibility, and I encourage national and local institutions to make every effort to reach an equitable solution to the issue, one which protects both the right to health and the right to work, especially at this time of economic crisis".