Vatican City (AsiaNews) Upon hearing the news of Yasser Arafat's death, the Pope feels close to his family, the Palestinian authorities and the Palestinian people. He prays that the Star of Peace may soon shine once again over the peoples of the Holy Land and their two independent and sovereign states, this according to Card Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Holy See, in a telegram sent to the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Rawhi Fattuh.
"In these hours of profound sadness over the death of President Arafat," the statement reads, "John Paul II feels particularly close to the family of the departed, the Palestinian authorities and the Palestinian people. Whilst committing his soul into the hands of the highest and most merciful God, the Holy Father has called upon the Prince of Peace to let the Star of Harmony shine over the Holy Land so that the two peoples who dwell in it may reconcile as two independent and sovereign states". (FP)