Pope Benedictus, in his first Easter message, called on Sunday for an "honorable solution" to the nuclear standoff with Iran, a truly independent Palestinian state, and global cooperation to combat terrorism.
The German Pope, speaking on his 79th birthday, made his appeal for world peace in his Easter "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message to some 100,000 people as he concluded the first Easter season of his pontificate.
In the speech, televised to millions of viewers in more than 65 countries at the end of Easter Sunday mass in the square, the head of the Roman Catholic Church listed his worries about a world he said was living through "uncertainty and anxiety" and oppressed by widespread suffering.
"Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honorable solution be found for all parties, through serious and honest negotiations ... ," he said in a clear reference to Iran, which announced last week it had become a nuclear power by enriching uranium.
In another part of the speech, the Pope defended Israel's right to exist, in what appeared to be an indirect criticism of statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be eliminated.
But he also called firmly for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"May the international community, which re-affirms Israel's just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and to build their future, moving towards the constitution of a state that is truly their own," He said in the part of his address dedicated to peace in the Middle East.