To the Honorable President of the Council of Ministers, Professor Romano Prodi

Deir Mar Musa, 26 July 2006
Father Paolo Dall’Oglio

To the Honorable President of the Council of Ministers,
Professor Romano Prodi
Palazzo Chigi


        Dear and respected President,

On the occasion of the seminar which took place with the monastic community, comprising a group of young Moslems and Christians, of Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese origin, with a strong delegation of their contemporaries from various European countries, we wished very much to send you the expression of our pained prayer and of our very cordial greeting for the success of today’s very important Conference  dedicated to the resolution of the current Israeli/Lebanese conflict  This conflict is a particular example of the Israeli/Arab conflict, but also of the present confrontation between the Moslem world  (Shiite and Sunni) and the Western world.
In an imaginary dialogue with President Prodi, the absolute priority was underlined of the safety and physical protection of the civilian population. Everyone is hoping that the Rome Summit can bring about an immediate cease-fire in order to open up the way to peace and to the avoidance of any further enlargement of the conflict either at the regional or at the global level. 
The young people want to believe in the sense of historical responsibility on the part of the world leaders. They are experiencing the reality that direct encounter and the experience of sharing life in common are efficacious means in the evolution of ways of thinking and in the overcoming of preconceptions and religious misunderstandings.   They ask for equity and transparency in relations and a sense of justice in the way of looking to the future.  The desire for democracy is universal among the young people but on the other hand, there is their delusion in the face of what they see.  
Peace is made between enemies .  Calling the enemy ‘terrorist’ makes the peace process all the more difficult  and makes it impossible to maintain even the minimum of humanity during the war.
It is necessary to take into account the fact that the popular feelings here are largely supportive of the partisans of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, and that the choice of suicide-attacks corresponds profoundly to the chronic sense of impotence in the Arab and Moslem populations. The peace must be made between those who are capable of representing the real anxieties of the populations in conflict. From here, the immense role of the mediations is for cease-fire and truce, the only realistic prospective for the moment..  Then from here a fragile and all-consuming hope that the Conference at Rome can demonstrate at last the turning point in the current tendencies. 

In friendship and gratitude,