03/26/2007, 00.00
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Holy See: A just peace for Palestinians and Israelis in their respective free and sovereign states

At an international conference organised by the United Nations Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Vatican representative Mgr Parolin reasserted the right of both peoples to peace and security, stressing the importance of the Christian contribution to that objective.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Palestinians and Israelis “have the right to live in peace in their own [sovereign and recognised] state,” and Christians in the Middle East have a vital role to play for peace since they “contribute in a constructive manner to the urgent needs of their respective societies and the whole region,” this according to Mgr Pietro Parolin, Undersecretary for Relations with States at the Vatican Secretariat of State, who spoke on behalf of the Holy See at a conference on March 22 and 23 organised by the United Nations Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The event was held at the headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.

“It is surely positive that this [new Palestinian national unity] government is the product of a compromise between the principal Palestinian political groups” bringing “to an end several months of severe, armed and violent conflict.”

“The international community is hopeful that the new government will be an authoritative and trustworthy interlocutor, capable of leading its people, with a sense of responsibility and realism, to the conclusion of a just peace with the Israelis—who have the right to live in peace in their own state.”

“The Holy See,” the Vatican envoy noted, “has always followed with particular attention the events of recent decades: thousands of Catholics live in this land, which we like to call the ‘Holy Land’ since it preserves the living memory of the events which have marked our history of salvation. Millions of Catholics and Christians throughout the world look to this land, with the hope of being able to travel there on pilgrimage.”

This is the goal the Pope had in mind when he addressed a letter to Christians who live in the Middle East. It contains “very useful recommendations as to the spirit in which the work of creating the conditions for a true and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be undertaken.”

In conclusion, the Holy See greets and wishes “every success to this Conference” with the conviction “that the different religious confessions present in the Holy Land can make a decisive contribution to the re-launching of peace talks” and promote attitudes of “justice and solidarity.”

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