Pope John Paul II on Saturday renewed his appeal for a quick end to the Persian Gulf war and cautioned against "fatalistic resignation" to a long, extended conflict.

"As men and as Christians, we must not get used to the idea that all this is inescapable," he said in a broadcast beamed to the Middle East and elsewhere."Our spirit must not be permitted to give in to the temptation of indifference and of fatalistic resignation, almost that men cannot help but be caught up in the spiral of war," he said.

His remarks preceded the recitation of the rosary, which the pope says on the first Saturday of every month.

Vatican Radio said the appeal would be broadcast to listeners in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"We can't lose the hope that the great suffering that is striking such vast portions of humanity ends as soon as possible," the pope said.

The pope has made several peace overtures, including a call to Iraq to make a peace gesture and to the United States to commit itself to an international peace conference devoted to Middle East problems, including the Palestinian question.

During the rosary service, the pope prayed that "soldiers on all fronts" who are "forced by painful decision" to fight be "freed from sentiments of hate and vengeance."