Mideast Cease-Fire Bid Hailed by L´Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 20, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Words of encouragement are coming from the Vatican given the initiative of Palestinians and Israelis to reach a cease-fire.

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L´Osservatore Romano, the semiofficial Vatican newspaper, today applauded «the steps forward in the way of dialogue,» and considered that a ray of light «and hope for peace» is coming from the troubled Middle East.

«The truce announced in the territories by Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, and the subsequent withdrawal of Israeli troops from some areas of the West Bank, have opened the possibility to revive the dialogue interrupted almost a year ago,» the Vatican newspaper stated.

«The whole international community is awaiting the renewal of the peace process, which is of enormous importance in the world chess game and might contribute to diminish the tension in a region marked by secular contradictions,» the article continued.

«In face of the cowardliness of those who use violence to avoid reasonable discussions with others, today it is necessary to have the courage and strength to make words prevail over arms,» the newspaper maintained.

It added: «Dialogue continues to be the only instrument capable of guaranteeing peaceful coexistence between peoples, who have been waiting for decades for a political and definitive solution to a conflict which has caused so much mourning and destruction.»

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