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Pope calls for Jerusalem to become 'a city of peace and not of division'

Pope Benedict XVI has urged diplomats to supply urgent aid to Syria to relieve civilian suffering, while expressing hope that Jerusalem would become "a city of peace and not of division."

Benedict addressed urgent crises around the world in an annual speech to diplomats Monday. Starting with the Middle East, "that privileged region in God's plan," the pope warned that continued conflict in Syria will leave "nothing but a field of ruins." The pope said he hoped Israelis and Palestinians will commit "to peaceful coexistence."

Addressing the economic crisis closer to home, the pontiff called on the European Union to make "farsighted" and "difficult" policy decisions favoring growth.

He called on policymakers to monitor closely the disparity between rich and poor as they do differences in bond market yields.