On July 25, 2017 at New York, the Holy See reiterated its firm support of the Two-State solution: that of Israel next to the Palestinian State within borders recognized at the international level, stressed Monsignor Simon Kassas, Charge d’Affairs of the Mission of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the UN, during the debate organized by the UN Security Council, which focused on the situation in the Middòe East and the Palestinian question, reported Vatican Radio in Italian on July 26.
The way to follow, said Monsignor Kassas, is that of direct dealings between Israelis and Palestinians, with the support of the International Community. For the process to be completed with success, the two sides must reduce the tension and violence and abstain from actions, including implantations.
The Two-State solution, stressed Monsignor Kassas, also requires a united Palestinian front: it is essential for the economic prosperity, social cohesion and political stability of a Palestinian State.
Monsignor Kassas then recalled the 2014 visit to the Vatican of Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Pope Francis’ exhortation to promote the culture of dialogue.
Monsignor Kassas paused especially on the question of Jerusalem, specifying that the Holy See renews its support for a complete, just and durable solution in regard to the Holy City. He reiterated the importance of a special statute for Jerusalem: it is necessary to guarantee safe and free access to the Holy Places, to faithful of all religions and nationalities, he stressed, recalling in addition the Pope’s appeal for the Middle East, launched last Sunday at the end of the Angelus. The Holy Father mentioned “the grave tensions and violence of these last days at Jerusalem.” “I feel the need to launch an urgent appeal to moderation and to dialogue,” said the Pope.
Monsignor Kassas then talked about the situation in the different regions of the Middle East, in particular in Syria, Yemen and northern Iraq.
He said that Pope Francis appreciates profoundly the tireless efforts of those that seek to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria. A peace agreement between the Syrian parties will give back stability to the country, and allow the safe return of refugees and displaced persons.
Monsignor Kassas also recalled that the Christian communities have lived in the Middle East for more than two thousand years, in peaceful coexistence with other communities. The Holy See invites the International Community not to forget them and considers that the State of Law, including respect of religious freedom, is essential to obtain and maintain peaceful coexistence, he concluded.
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