Press Release
A Meeting between
His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah
Israeli Minister for Internal Security Shlomo Ben-Ami

This noon (12/10/99), His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch
of Jerusalem; accompanied by His Excellency Bishop Reyah Abu-el-Assal of the
Evangelical Church, His Excellency Giacinto-Bulos Marcuzzo – Latin
Patriarchal Vicar in Nazareth; met His Excellency Mr. Shlomo Ben-Ami,
Minister of Internal Security accompanied by some senior Israeli officials.
The meeting took place in Laromme Hotel in Jerusalem, and addressed the
recent crisis in Nazareth.

His Beatitude informed the Minister about his concern for the situation of
Nazareth and about the Church’s position regarding the recent crisis in the
City. The Patriarch asked the Minister for a quick and suitable solution,
according to the nature and the universal vocation of Nazareth for the
history and the world.

Minister Ben-Ami said that the Israeli Government considers the possible
Papal visit to the country as a great opportunity for inter-religious
dialogue. The Patriarch said that the Church is not against the building of
synagogues, churches and mosques, but in proper places. “We believe that the
land which became a source of conflict, should become a source of
brotherhood and mutual understanding,” the Patriarch said.

Minister Ben-Ami told the ecclesiastic delegation about his suggestion to
solve the crisis in Nazareth, and ensured that the final governmental
decision, regarding the crisis in Nazareth, will take into consideration the
positions of all concerned parties.

Patriarch Sabbah emphasised on the need to renew the stability and security
for locals as well as for pilgrims in the City of the Annunciation.