Pope Wants Mideast Peace Process Quickened

VATICAN CITY, JULY 11, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II wants to see the Israeli-Palestinian peace process accelerated.

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That desire was transmitted on Thursday by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, to Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Silvan Shalom.

A statement issued by Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican press office, said the meeting between the Israeli Minister and the cardinal focused on “the current process of reconciliation and peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

“Cardinal Sodano expressed on behalf of the Holy Father the fervent desire that the process will intensify and conclude rapidly,” the Vatican spokesman said.

Father Benedettini said that during the meeting “some bilateral questions were also analyzed, relating to the life of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, which will have to be urgently resolved on the basis of the commitments of the Fundamental Agreement of 1993.”

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