Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Papa Francis meets Shimon Peres, exchange prayers and hope for the Middle East

http://www.asianews.it/files/img/VATICANO_-_Israele.JPGMeeting today at 11 am for about half hour, Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres exchanged prayers and expressed hope for a solution to the Mideast situation. 

The Israeli leader also invited the Holy Father to Jerusalem. 

Speaking to the pontiff, Shimon Peres said, "I would pray for you" in Assisi where he travels tomorrow. Earlier, he had asked Francis "to pray for all of us".

Peres later met with the Vatican Secretary of State Card Tarcisio Bertone, and Secretary for Relations with States Mgr Dominique Mamberti.

At the end of the meeting, described as "friendly", the Vatican Press Office issued a press release in which it listed the problems addressed, which the parties hope to see solved.

"A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for," the statement said, "so that, with the courageous decisions and availability of both sides as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region."

Growing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories have interrupted talks between Israel and Palestine, reducing the chances of a solution based on the principle of "two peoples, two states."

The press release went on to say that "Particular worry for the conflict that plagues Syria was expressed, for which a political solution is hoped for that privileges the logic of reconciliation and dialogue."

In fact, a political solution is ever more urgent at a time when some Israeli military leaders and segments of the country's public are pushing for an Israeli military action against Damascus.

Together with United Nations, the Holy See continues instead to call on the international community to promote internal dialogue in Syria.

The Vatican statement ended saying, "A number of issues concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between state authorities and the local Catholic communities were also addressed. In conclusion, the significant progress made by the Bilateral Working Commission, which is preparing an agreement regarding issues of common interest, was appreciated and its rapid conclusion is foreseen."

However, a few days ago, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem called for a stop to the construction of the separation wall in Beit Jala, in the Cremisan Valley, which threatens to undermine the educational work provided by the Salesian Order to Palestinian children, one example among dozens of the way the wall devastates the lives, work and health of the Palestinian population.

At last, the two sides hope to see their 1994 Fundamental Accord finally implemented. Over the years, Vatican and Israeli representatives on the joint commission engaged in cordial talks, made progress, and remain hopeful in a rapid conclusion that has not yet come.

No comments: