11/04/2021, 16.32
VATICAN
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It is ‘absolute necessary’ for direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians to resume

The Holy See released a communiqué following talks between Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who later also spoke with Secretary of State Card Pietro Parolin. in the press release, the Vatican reiterated its support for a two-state solution in the Holy Land and an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem. It also rejected the “use of weapons, and [. . .] all forms of extremism and fundamentalism.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met today with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the sixth meeting between the two leaders. Mr Abbas latter also met with officials from the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.

The communiqué following the meeting stressed that it was “absolute necessary” for Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct talks with international support in order to arrive at a two-state solution in the Holy Land with Jerusalem given a status that guarantees its accessibility to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The press release reads: “Today, 4 November 2021, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

“During the cordial talks in the Secretariat of State, the good relations between the Holy See and the State of Palestine were acknowledged, and bilateral issues of mutual interest were addressed. In addition, the need to promote human brotherhood and peaceful coexistence among the various faiths was acknowledged.

“With regard to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, it was stressed that it is absolutely necessary to reactivate direct dialogue in order to achieve a two-state solution, also with the help of more vigorous effort on the part of the international community.

“Lastly, it was reiterated that Jerusalem must be recognised by all as a place of encounter and not of conflict, and that its status must preserve its identity and universal value as a Holy City for all three Abrahamic religions, also through a special internationally guaranteed status.

“Finally, attention turned to the urgency of working for peace, avoiding the use of weapons, and combating all forms of extremism and fundamentalism.”

Today's note reiterates the Holy See’s traditional position vis-à-vis the Holy Land and Jerusalem, expressed at the United Nations in December 2017, following US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

On that occasion, the Holy See noted “the obligation of all nations to respect the historic status quo of the Holy City, in conformity with the relevant UN Resolutions”.

“The unique identity of Jerusalem, which is of universal interest - it is stressed - consists in its particular nature as a Holy City, sacred to the three monotheistic religions and a symbol for millions of believers throughout the world who consider it their 'spiritual capital'. Its meaning goes beyond the question of borders and this reality should be considered a priority in any negotiation for a political solution”.

the Vatican Delegation also called for “a peaceful resolution that respects the nature of Jerusalem, its sacredness and its universal value", reiterating that "only a guaranteed status at the international level can preserve its unique character and be a guarantee of dialogue and reconciliation for peace in the region”.

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