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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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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