Pope Benedict has called on religious leaders of all faiths to "utterly refuse" to support any form of violence in the name of faith.
Speaking on the first day of a four-day visit to Turkey, the pontiff voiced concern that conflicts across the Middle East show no sign of abating. He said such violence "weighs heavily on the whole of international life," and called for authentic dialogue to reach "acceptable political solutions."
The pope also told diplomats in Ankara terrorism and regional conflicts highlight the need for "strong and effective" international peacekeeping.
Earlier, meeting with Turkey's leading Muslim cleric, Ali Bardakoglu, the pope said the belief of both Christians and Muslims in one God forms the basis for cooperation between the faiths.
The Turkish cleric used the event to criticize what he called growing fears of Islam in the West.
Bardakoglu said accusations by some Westerners that Islam is a violent religion are unfair and hurt all Muslims. He also called on religious leaders to act responsibly and not use differences to recruit new followers.
Benedict is to visit the western city of Ephesus Wednesday before flying on to Istanbul.