Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pope receives Abbas, recognize and respect the rights of all

» 10/08/2009 15:11

Desire for a "just and lasting peace" between Palestinians and Israelis. The situation of Catholics in Palestine, and more generally in the region, was also discussed as well as their contribution to the society and peaceful coexistence among peoples.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A "just and lasting" solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, in which "the rights of all are recognized and respected." This was contained in a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office this morning regarding discussions held at the Vatican between Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, who was received by Pope Benedict XVI, and later Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, who was accompanied by Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

The talks with the Pope Benedict XVI, held in his private library, lasted about 15 minutes. Upon the arrival of Abbas, the Pope, after greeting him, and before the doors were closed, asked him about the outcome of meetings in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama.

After the private meeting, the President of the PNA presented the Pope members of his entourage, among others, Saeb Erekat, who is leading negotiations with the Israelis, commenting that "he has a very important job to do."

At the time of the exchange of gifts Abbas offered the Pope a mosaic with an image of ancient Jerusalem, which emphasized the words "Jerusalem the capital of Arab culture." Benedict XVI in exchange gifted the Palestinian President a picture of St Peter’s Square in bas-relief made of pewter and ceramic.

"During the cordial talks – read the statement released by the Vatican - after recalling the journey of the Holy Father to the Holy Land, discussions turned to dialogue on the Middle East and in particular the need to find a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the rights of all are recognized and respected. In this regard the importance of cooperation and mutual respect between the parties was highlighted as well as the support of the international community ".

"Reference was also made - concludes the communiqué - to the situation of Catholics in Palestine, and more generally in the region, and their contribution to society and peaceful coexistence among peoples."

See also:

From Zenit, "Pontiff Urges Fairness in Resolving Mideast Conflict"

From VOA News, "Palestinian President, Pope Discuss Mideast Conflict"

From Israel National News, "PA Gift Calls Jerusalem the Capital of Arab Culture"

From CNA, "Pope receives Palestinian president, discusses plight of Catholics"

From Catholic Culture, "Pope meets Palestinian leader, presses for peace talks"


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