.- As he received the new Iraqi Foreign Affairs Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Pope Benedict expressed this Thursday his wishes that the new Iraqi constitution respects the right to religious freedom. The vice-director of the press room of the Holy See, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P, announced that the Pontiff received Zebari in a private audience, followed by another meeting with the Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
During both meetings âthe current situation of Iraq was reviewed, with special reference to the text of the constitution, about to be presented for approval to the National Assembly and the special subject of religious freedomâ informed Fr. Benedetttini
âEmphasis was put as well on the fact that reconstruction of the institutions in the country should take place in a climate of dialogue that involves all the religious groups and the diverse elements of society,â he concluded.