Israeli and Palestinian Officials Meeting in Rome

Latium Region Sponsors Peace Initiative

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ROME, DEC. 18, 2000 (
The regional government that includes Rome is doing its part to promote peace in the Holy Land.

On Tuesday, Itzhak Herzog, Cabinet secretary of the Israeli government, and Nabeel Amr, Palestinian minister for relations with the Authority´s Parliament, will lead an informal meeting here on the theme “A Common Destiny.”

The peace and reconciliation meeting is an initiative of the Italian Latium region. The Latium government has established a Dionysian Center for Art and Culture, primarily for dialogue between cultures and religions.

From Sunday to Thursday, the three monotheistic religions are reflecting on conditions for the possibility of forgiveness. The participants are religious and political leaders and intellectuals, representing the entire Mediterranean basin.

Among the religious representatives is Israeli politician David Rosen, director of the Anti-Defamation League. He accompanied John Paul II on his pilgrimage to Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial, and to Jerusalem´s Wailing Wall. With him are members of the Interreligious Commission created by the Israeli government following the Pope´s visit, as a laboratory and bridge to Christianity. Top Palestinian politicians are accompanying Amr to represent the Palestinian Authority.

The peace initiative has the full support of the Vatican. Latium sources hope that the meeting will end with an acknowledgment of faults committed reciprocally. The same sources state that the example is the “mea culpa” pronounced by John Paul II on March 12.

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