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Home arrow newsitems arrow Trump sees NE Syria CeaseFire Complicated, Praises Kurds. Erdogan eyes Raqqa+El Zor, Not Peace+Talks

Trump sees NE Syria CeaseFire Complicated, Praises Kurds. Erdogan eyes Raqqa+El Zor, Not Peace+Talks

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Today's Press Conference of USA President Don Trump and his Turkish counterpart Tayip Erdogan, was, in fact, more Interesting and revelatory, that it might appear at First Sight, and White House's Direct Video Transmission at the Web, with approximate "Live" Transcript provided, etc., helped spot some Key Points, which, otherwise, risked to pass unnoticed, given, inter alia, also the Rapid and mainly Subtle way in which Trump and others Highlighted certain "Hot" Issues, in an, Apparently, Good Tempered Atmosphere, Handling Explosive Nitroglycerine...

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- Right from the Start, Trump characterized their Talks as a "FRANK Discussion", (but also "productive"), and Erdogan (speaking through a Translator) as "Honest" : Usual Diplomatic Terms for something "Hot" and Contradictory...

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 - Things went Concrete, when Trump twice spoke about a "COMPLICATED situation" Nowadays on the ground, at the N/E Syrian Kurdish Region invaded and occupied by Turkey's Armed Forces, and, particularly, on the "CeaseFire" attempt :

 - "I know that the CEASE-FIRE is quite Complicated", he reiterated, "But", at least, "it's Moving Forward", and "a lot of people Want To See that Work", the US President Urged, (i.e., again Indicating that, in practice, it has Not Yet Started to be Really, Neither Fully Applied)...

>>> Concerning Facts on the Ground, it's enough to just read a series of Concrete Observations, at least during the Last 2 Days, in order to clearly understand, that, ... there is No Real "Cease-Fire" yet, Until Now :


- Indeed, already, the Syrian Kurdish Region's Media Center, has just Denounced, on 11 November 2019, that, Since that "Complicated Cease-Fire" was Declared, the Turkish Army had Launched ...190 ATTACKS on N/E Syria, including 82 AIR-STRIKES, ...during which "182 SDF Fighters were KILLED, and 243 were WOUNDED" !

+ Moreover, in Addition, during these Same Days, according to the, usually Well Informed "syriancivilwarmap" Web-News Site :

<<11/09: At least 5 soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army were killed by the Turkish Army artillery near Tall Tamr.

11/09: The Turkish Air Force is bombing civilians near Tall Tamr.

11/11: Artillery shelling on Manakh by the Turkish Army.

11/11: Clashes between Turkish-backed jihadists and SAA near Tall Abu Rasayn.

11/11: Khafiyah is already under Turkish control. No further gains in this area today.

11/11: The Turkish-backed jihadists are attacking Qasimiya, Rashidiya, and Aziziayah with heavy weapons.

11/11: Turkish-backed jihadists are shelling Sharaqraq. 2 civilians were wounded.

11/11: Two car-bombs exploded in Qamishlo (NDLR: Controlled by Syrian Kurds). Until now 6 civilians were killed and 22 civilians were injured.

11/12: Today there was a big protest against the Turkish aggression in Syria. (At Kobane+).

11/12: Four civilians were wounded today when Turkish forces opened fire on demonstrators and the local press in the Kobane area during their joint patrol with Russia.

11/12: Heavy artillery attack on Umm al Kayf by the Turkish Army.

11/12: Heavy clashes between SAA/SDF and Turkish Army/jihadists in Qasimiya.

11/12: Intense fight in Umm al-Kayf between SAA/SDF and Turkish-backed jihadists

11/12: The Syrian Arab Army sent reinforcements towards Umm al-Kayf to stop the Turkish advance in this area.

11/12: The Turkish Army and their jihadist forces are advancing towards Tall Tamr.

11/12: The Turkish Army captured Dawudiyah from the Syrian Arab Army.

11/12: The Turkish Army captured Rashidiya and Qasimiya from the Syrian Arab Army.

11/12: The Turkish-backed jihadists captured Amiriyah from the Syrian Arab Army/ SDF.

11/12: There some reports about ground attack by the Turkish-backed jihadists in Umm al-Kayf.

11/12: Turkish drones are bombing Rashidiya village.

11/13: In this area there is still intense fighting.

11/13: The Syrian Democratic Forces and SAA managed to recapture Qasimiya and Rashidiya from Turkish Army and jihadists.

11/13: The Syrian Democratic Forces and SAA recaptured Amiriyah from Turkish-backed jihadists.

11/13: Two SAA soldiers were wounded due to Turkish artillery shelling. >>

(Etc)+...

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+ Things, obviously, became much More Nasty, when Erdogan, Suddenly Announced, for the 1st Time, that, in Addition to a Huge "Zone" all Acrosss the Syrian-Turkish Border, 444 km km Long, and 32 Km. Thick, (to Invade and Occupy by Turkey's Forces, under Pretext of alleged "Security" Concerns), the Turkish President, in fact, eyed Also anOther, absolutely Different, and totaly UnRelated area (which hasn't, Obviously, Nothing to do with Ankara's alleged "Security" Border-line pretexts), going very Deep Towards the South, even until "RAQQA" (notorious former Capital of "ISIS"' Khaliphate, in the Past), and reaching even ... "Deir az-ZOR" (sic !), i.e., at the very END of Syria's extreme South-Eastern Borders with ...IRAQ, very Far Away from Turkey !.. (See MAP).

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As we could Install about "1 Million" so-called "Refugees" at that Border-line "Zone" accross the Turkish/Syrian Borders, we could Also Transfert and Install Even anOther such "1 Million", so Far as those "Cities such as Raqqa and Deir az-Zor", i.e. "a Total of 2 Millions" of individuals, Boasted, indeed, the Turkish President, for the 1st Time, today !

This was Not at all any eventually accidental, and/or approximate "Slip of Tongue", but a Calculated Move, as it results from the Fact that Erdogan Repeated, Exactly the Same Claim, Both in that Public Press Conference with Trump, and in a Private Meeting with GOP Senators Invited at the White House to Discuss with him, (for which, another official Transcript was just Published)...


And, Erdogan also Revealed, UnWillingly, what he Really Means by such Massive Population Movements : Indeed, he spoke about "Many TOWNS and Many VILLAGES", that Turkey is on the process of Invading and Occupying by Force Nowadays in the Northern-East Syrian Kurdish Region, (Comp. Supra), where, "SETTLERS" (sic !), as he said, are due to arrive asap !

But, on the Contrary, he didN't say, not even 1 word, about What might Happen to those, Already about 400.000 real Refugees/Displaced persons, among the Original, Traditionnal, Peaceful and Lawfull Inhabitants of such "Towns" and "Villages", who were Obliged to Flee the Military Invasion of Turkey's Army and/or Proxy Islamist EXTREMIST Armed Gangs, Forcibly Chassed Away from their Family Homes, Livelihood Properties, and/or Ancestral Lands, where notoriously live Not Only Kurds, but also Arabs, and, particularly Assyrians : the Most Ancient Christians in History, as well as Yazidi, Armenians, etc...

As for What Exactly means Turkey when it speaks about Sending away such so-called "Refugees" (alias "Settlers" : Comp. Supra), the European People had, Unfortuately, an Awful and Sad, sometimes even Tragic, Opportunity to personally Witness recently, during that Sudden, UnWarned and UnPrecedented, Huge "Tsunami" of More than +1,5 Millions of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, Smuggled through Turkey into Europe's External Borders in Greece, in Conditions which notoriously Provoked a Havoc, Chaos, and fueled even Bloody ISIS Terrorism, Cowardly Targetting Civilian People, throughout almost All European Countries, (Except from those who Refused to Let them Massively in) : Indeed, as several US Journalistes had Already Warned, with Original Interviews Published already from Turkey, where they had Investigated and met several among those so-called "Refugees", in fact, the Real "War Refugees" from Syria etc. were Only a Minority of Less than 1/3 (as it was, Later-on, Found also by German Authorities, a.o.), while, Many among all the Others, were from absolutely Other, even Far Away located and irrelevant Countries, such as, mainly Pakistan, or Aghanistan, etc, and Even from the Maghreb, and Other African Countries, Including several former Ordinary former Prisoners for Thefts, Drug Dealers, Rapes, etc, and Various Other kinds of Thugs, who, in Fact, had Nothing to do with Real Refugees, and Discredited that, Traditionaly "Sacred", Noble Word...     

On the Contrary, Many among those who were Real Refugees, and/or had a Sincere Will, Basic Culture and  Capacity to be smoothly and Efficiently Integrated into a Modern Society, were, reportedly, Often ...Systematically Blocked in Turkey, and practically Hindered to go to Europe, according to a Policy Forced by Turkish Authorities, as Revealed, Earlier on, some "Top Secret" Investigations by competent EU Authorities, which had Leaked in Brussels, and were Partly re-Published by maistream German Newspaper "Die Welt", and others, on 2016...

-------------------------------

+ But, when various Journalists Raised some Critical but Elementary Questions in that Press Conference at the White House, the Turkish President, almost Systematically, practically Avoided to Give Any Clear Answer !

trumperdogan_conf._fox_question_white_house_press__eurofora_patchwork_400 

- F.ex., an American Journalist from Mainstream, pro-Trump, Center-Right Media "Fox", Reminded to Erdogan, that the US President had "Urged" him "Not to Launch any Military Action" in Northern/East Syria, even by Writting, in a "Letter" that he had send him. But the Turkish President had, obviously, "Ignored" that. So, he simply Asked him, Now, "Why ?".          

Astonishingly, Erdogan, in fact, did Not give Now Any Concrete, Neither Direct Reply in Public, to such an Elementary Query, But Prefered, in fact, to Merely Evoke something Vagua about a so-called "Doc" or "Letter" that he would have Given to Trump, Not then, i.e. Back around the 9 October 2019, when that Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation had Started, But Only Now, i.e. More than one Month Later-on...           

According to a White House "full" Transcript, published Later-on, the Turkish President would have Pushed that Matter so Far, that he'd Even ... Returned, contemptuously, i.e. "Gave Back, that Letter that we (Ankara) had Received" from USA's President, (calling for a Peaceful Solution, and Not War, in the Syrian Kurdish Region) !

------------

- Even More Interesting,  a similar Attempt to, in Fact, Avoid Giving Any real Reply on the Substance of a Critical Press Question on an Important Issue, became Apparent towards the End of that Press Conference :

 trumperdogan_press_conf_iraqi_kurd_question_wh_press__ef_patchwork_400

>>> Indeed, an Iraqi Kurdish Journalist, simply Asked Erdogan "Why" he seemed "Unable to Negotiate" with the Syrian Kurds, Contrary to what Turkey had Previously done with the Iraqi Kurds, so that, "in Future", they too might "Become Friends", as he, Optimistically, but Interestingly,  pointed out.

- The Turkish President, initialy appeared Upset by anOther Oral Intervention of Trump, who, Meanwhile, had Replied to a Previous, Different Question by that Same Journalist, (See Infra), But rapidly recovered, (after Trump obviously Suggested to him, Indirectly but surely, an Anodynous Way to React at such a Question), and Started to, apparently, give a kind of alleged "Reply", which, in fact, Wasn't one :

Erdogan, indeed, Strictly Limited himself into Merely Repeating a Leit-Motif, "Erzats", "Passe-Partout" stance, that he has notoriously already taken and several times used, Both in the Past, and Nowadays, Whenever anyone asks him something on his Views about Kurdish People :

- We Must "Distinguish" between most Kurdish People, who do "Not have Any Problem", not even Inside Turkey, (as he Claimed), and "TERRORISTS", he simply said. Because, "if they're Terrorists", "and that's Terrorists", then, "You" Must "FIGHT back", Otherwise, "you'll pay a very Hefty Price", Erdogan concluded, there, withOut saying anything else on that Important point...

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>>> However, when it really came down into concretely, Speaking, or Not Speaking, with this or that Syrian Kurdish Leader, the Official Turkish Authorities stance, appeared to be, Not Only to Refuse to simpkly Speak to the Syrian Kurds' Leadership, but Even to ...Accuse the USA President himself, for having, recently, dared do so : I.e., simply Speak at the Phone with a Key Leader of Syrian Kurds, in order to Urgently Settle an Important Issue, (apparently concerning the Cease Fire) !

Indeed, when Trump Searched someoe, in that Press Conference, in order to Raise, as he said, "a Friendly Question" to Erdogan, and, naturally, chose the Only ... Scarfed Woman (except, naturally, of the Turkish Presiden's own Wife), among the Numerous Audience, she, (apparently a pro-Turkish Government Journalist), Focused Only on, practically, Urging the USA President Not to Speak, not even by Phone, (and, naturally, even Less give an Ivitation to the White House, as it had been reported), to the Head of Syrian Kurds' Defense (SDF), who have Notoriously Fought, Together with the International Coalition against the Deadly Islamist Terrorits of "ISIS" Cowards Targetting innocent Civilian People, reportedly Sacrificing around 11.000 Lives among those Syrian kurdish Fighters, Women Included, until they Succeeded to Win against ISIS, after Years of Hard Combats... Exactly the Same Attitude kept also Erdogan himself, at anOther Occasion Today, Claiming that the Turkish Government had already given, and augmented even Today, some Mysterious "Documents" which, obviously, Slandered that Person Behind his Back, Claiming that he would be a Dangerous "Terrorist", who "Should be in Prison, like Ocalan", (Turkish Kurds' former Long-Time Leader, Both during a Fighting, in a remote Past, and a more Recent, Peaceful Period, who was, notioriously, betrayed and finally kidnapped by Turkish Secret Services when he had Started to Seek to Negotiate with Ankara for a Peaceful Political Solution of the Kurdish Issue, back on 1998-1999 : See, particularly, EU Parliament's relevant Resolution of 9/1998, and Interviews to mainstream Italian Media, in Rome, on 1999, etc. But this did Not Help Settle the Kurdish Issue in Turkey, which, despite a Short Period of inconclusive Talks and Cease Fire, Continued, unfortunately, to Mark that Country with several Tragedies and Grave Human Rights Violations, f.ex. also on 2015, etc).

 - The Syrian Kurd now Targetted by the Turkish Government, known as Mazlum Abdi, (alias Ferhat Abdi Sahin, according to Turkey), is, reportedly, a Long Time militant, Initialy engaged in Political Work in Europe, between 1997-2003, before going to Iraq, then, for Defense tasks, and Finaly, since 2011, send Back to Syria, also for Defense purposes, (where he had been Born : at Kobane, the Historic City, almost Destroyed by ISIS' Islamist Terrorists, but Saved, after Fierce Fighting, and Restored with the Help of Europe, USA, and others : See, f.ex. CoE Assembly's relevant Resolution of 2014 in Strasbourg, at: .., etc). Abdi reportedly Negotiated and Concluded the Alliance between Syrian Kurdish Militia, USA and all the International Coalition against ISIS' Islamist Terrorists, who had, in the meantime, Established a "Khaliphate" in Many Invaded and Occupied Territories of Syria and Iraq, notoriously Helping to definitively Win against ISIS there, around 2018, and track its Leader, El Bagdadi, on 2019, (who was Found in a Turkey-Controlled Area of its Proxies, as well as his Press Spokesman, later-on, astonishingly Near the North-Western Syrian/Turkish Border, close to Afrin, which had just been Invaded and Occupied by the Turkish Army and its Islamists' Proxy Gangs since 2018 : See ..., etc).

+ More Recently, Abdi had, reportedly, Negotiated an Exceptional Deal with the Syrian National Government of Damascus, (with the intermediation of Russia), in order to Help Face the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation of the Northern/East, Syrian Kurdish Region, by Sending the National Syrian Army to Help Protect Kobane and Other Areas of the Turkish/Syrian Borders on 2019.

++ Even more importantly, he had Told to the Medias, that he Contributed to Negotiate some Concrete Inflexions in the Initial Sochi Deal between Russian President Putin and Erdogan, about the Conditions of a CeaseFire Prolongation, along the US vice-Presidence Pence and Erdogan initial Deal lines, where Ankara notoriously Blackmailed the Syrian Kurds by Asking them to Evacuate their own Defense far Away from the Turkish/Syrian Borders, just a Few Weeks ago.

=> It's on this Latest Occasion, that Abdi had also Phoned and Spoken with US President Trump, After what, a Group of USA Senators had reportedly Asked for him to be given a Visa by the USA State Department, also in order to Discuss about modalities of a Peace-Deal for Northern East Syria.

>>> But, "it's bery Difficult for me to Understand that" : Because, Normaly, "a Person like this, should Not be Welcomed by a Country as the USA !", Claimed Today the Turkish President Erdogan.

+ "And, similarly, this person was (also) Welcomed by a Country such as Russia !", Erdogan Complained...

- While, "I have Underlined", to everybody involved, "that a Terrorist (sic !), such as Ferhat Sahin (Abdi), Should Not be considered as an Interlocutor", he stressed, with Severity, and with a Mean look, for having been Disobeyed by Both Tump and Putin !

------------------------------------------

 - "Well, I had a very Good Talk with him !" (Mazlum Abdi), simply Replied US President Don Trump, on the Contrary...

- - "We (the Chief of Syrian Kurds' Fighters, and the President of USA), had a Very Good (Talk by Phone) - Recently", (i.e. around the recent "Cease Fire" Deals).

=> "And We are Working very Closely Together", Trump said for Abdi; as "also" with Erdogan, he put them together...

- "And a lot of things are Happening. A lot of very Positive Developments", Trump added Optimisticaly.

- As for the so-called "Terrorism" Accusation, (notoriously usual from Turks of the Establishment), "a Lot of that is Definition" issue, he Carefully Warned : F.ex. -"What's Your Definition of the Various Groups within the Kurds - you call the "Kurds" - and then you have Various Groups. And, Some Like them, Some doN't".

- "But, I think that we've Gained a Tremendous Amount of Momentum, Strength, and Knowledge, over the Last Short Period of Time. So, We'll See what happens", he left things Pragmatically Open, given the current Speed of Developments.

-------------------------------------------

- At any case, at least until now, "We (USA) have had a Great Relationship with the Kurds", Don Trump stressed, as a matter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of Priciple, in Concluding the Press Conference Today.

- "And We Fought With them Very Successfully against ISIS. We Fought Together. ...it certainly Helped a lot. .. We were very, Very Successful".

- "We Captured ...100 percent (of ISIS' "Khaliphate"). ...When we were at 97 percent, I was ...thinking about stopping it then. But, a Lot of People said: "Please, go to 100". And very Quickly, very Rapidly, the Military got the 100. I wanted to have that"...

 - "We (USA) have a Great Relationship with the Kurds - we have had. We're With them Now ; We Get Along With them", USA President reiterated in conclusion, while Erdogan looked uneasy...

---------------------------------------------

+ Last, but not least : At an adjacent Meeting, in the White House, between invited USA Senators, from the Governing Republican Party (GOP), and the two Countries' Presidents, Ted Cruz, the Number 2 of GOP's Presidential Cadidates back on 2016, (who Arrived just After Trump, among 14-15 initial Competitors, Became Afterwards his Ally, and is Widely considered as a Probable Successor of Trump in the US Presidency, on 2024 or 2028), from the Republican Stronghold of Texas, reportedly Stressed to Erdogan that the Main Issues at Stake Nowadays were the Russian "S400" Air Defense Missiles Bought by Ankara, Incompatible with USA's New AirFighter Plane, and the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation in the Syrian Kurdish Region :

- "We (USA's Government) Do Not Want to see Turkey engage in Offensive action Against the Kurds", Top Senator Cruz clearly stressed Today to Erdogan at the White House.

 


(../..)

 

("DraftNews")

 

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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(../..)

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