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News from the Latin Patriarchate

Italian Prime Minister visits the Latin Patriarchat
10.07.2007

Italian Prime Minister His Excellency Romano Prodi visited today (Tuesday, July 10, 2007) the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and was welcomed warmly by His Excellency Archbishop Fuad Twal, Coadjutor of the Latin Patriarchate.
His Excellency Archbishop Antonio France, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem; His Excellency Bishop Giacinto-Bulos Marcuzzo Latin Patriarchal Vicar in Israel; His Excellency Bishop Kamal-Hanna Bathish, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem and Most Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land attended the meeting aside Archbishop Twal with the visiting Italian Prime Minister, who was accompanied by senior officials from his office as well as by His Excellency Nicola Manduzio the Italian consul General in Jerusalem.
Archbishop Twal welcomed Prime Minister Prodi on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah, who is abroad, and on behalf of other Christian religious authorities in the Holy Land expressing gratitude to Italy for the continuous contribution to the Holy Land, especially by sending Italian nationals to serve the churches of the Holy Land.
In his speech Archbishop Twal highlighted also the need to establish an independent Palestinian State aside Israel. He addressed the issue of the prisoners expressing sympathy with the call of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to release the three Israeli prisoners who are kept in Lebanon and Gaza, but highlighted that there is a need to release also the over than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, but welcoming the recent declaration on the expected release of 250 of these prisoners.
Archbishop Twal stressed that local Christians are part of the complicated reality of the Holy Land adding that there is a need for political horizon to end the conflict in the area, expressing confidence that the European Union in general and Italy in specific could play an active role for promoting such horizon.
On his part, Prime Minister Prodi expressed support to the words delivered by Archbishop Twal stating that the economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians are not sufficient but should be followed by political steps, expressing support to the two-state solution in the Holy Land.
He expressed a belief that the Palestinian Question is the core of other problems in the Middle East and expressed Italy’s commitment to do all that it could for promoting solution to this question in specific and for bringing peace and stability to the Middle East in general.
Mr. Prodi expressed also great appreciation to the role played by the Church and its various institutions in the Holy Land arguing that this role is a source of hope to all.

 

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