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» 02/08/2005
ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
Sharm el-Sheikh summit, a positive and encouraging step, says Nuncio in Jerusalem
Mgr Sambi recalls the Pope's prayers for peace in the Middle East. His sufferings are offered as a blessing for the two peoples.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Today's meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a positive step in the direction towards peace, said Mgr Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio in Jerusalem, speaking to AsiaNews.

In the meeting hosted by Egyptian Hosni Mubarak and attended by Jordanian King Abdullah, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to a ceasefire and committed themselves to stop all violence directed at the other. Mr Sharon also pledged to free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently detained in Israeli prisons.

Mgr Sambi found the summit encouraging; he stressed that "the atmosphere in the region is changing"; violence is no longer acceptable, he said, and dialogue is increasingly seen as the path to peace.

The Sharm el-Sheikh meeting is thus "encouraging for it is rebuilding trust between the two parties". Now it is up to the "international community and world leaders to support this process."

The Nuncio added that what is happening is also in part due to the Pope's prayers. "For hundreds of times, John Paul II added his voice, calling for peace in the Holy Land, emphasising that human and ethical values that can lead to peace, a peace that cannot exist without justice".

According to Mgr Sambi, the Pope's "sufferings are offered to gain God's blessing on the two peoples and their leaders, so that they may have the courage needed to achieve peace" in the Holy Land, which remains "a constant concern for the Pope," he said.

"The path is long and climbing," Mgr Sambi said, "but every journey begins with one step, and the step made today is positive and in the right direction". (LF)


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See also
02/08/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
Fasting as jihad for Sharon and Abbas, says Patriarch Sabbah
04/03/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah
04/03/2005 HOLY LAND – TRIPS IN ASIA (AN OVERVIEW)
A pilgrim to the Holy Land for Christ's Jubilee in 2000
02/03/2005 MIDDLE EAST – USA
Peace, not "conflict management", the goal for Middle East
by David-Maria A. Jaeger*
12/21/2004 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Days that seem to announce peace, says Patriarch Michael Sabbah

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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