VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged diplomacy and dialogue instead of arms in Libya and solidarity with refugees from unrest across the north African and Middle Eastern region. In the current conflict in Libya, may diplomacy and dialogue take the place of arms, the pope said in his traditional Easter message. Addressing tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in a sun-drenched St Peters Square and millions watching on television worldwide, the pope added: In the countries of northern Africa and the Middle East, may all citizens, especially young people, work to promote the common good. The pontiff urged people to open their hearts (to) those fleeing conflict and to refugees from various African countries ... so that the pressing needs of so many brothers and sisters will be met with a concerted response in a spirit of solidarity. The leader of the worlds 1.1 billion Catholics added in the message known as Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World): That the light of peace and of human dignity may overcome the darkness of division, hate and violence in the Middle East. The pope, who traditionally uses his Easter message to comment on the worlds trouble spots, also spoke of the aftermath of political unrest in the Ivory Coast and earthquake nuclear disaster in Japan. May peaceful coexistence be restored among the peoples of Ivory Coast, where there is an urgent need to tread the path of reconciliation and pardon, in order to heal the deep wounds caused by the recent violence, said the head of the worlds 1.1 billion Catholics. May Japan find consolation and hope as it faces the dramatic consequences of the recent earthquake, along with other countries, he said.