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Holy See Insists on 2-State Solution in Mideast
U.N. Panel Addressed on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

NEW YORK, NOV. 5, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A state for Israelis and another for Palestinians is the key to peace and coexistence in the Middle East, says the Holy See.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, addressed this question Thursday before the General Assembly's Special Committee which was discussing aid to Palestinian refugees in the Mideast.

"Each year at this meeting we recite the seemingly endless list of difficulties and differences separating Israelis and Palestinians, but they are differences which make it all the more urgent for states to address the problem of the fundamental injustice at the heart of this question," the Holy See official observed.

"To make a list of the symptoms without addressing the root cause is hardly helpful to either party," he added. "Each is forced to live under the horrible tensions of potential explosive acts of terror or military incursions that result in death, casualties, and the destruction of infrastructures.

"The centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the persistent instability of the Middle East cannot be ignored."

The Vatican delegation "remains convinced of the two-state solution as the basis for the resolution of the crisis, which would permit Israelis to live in security in their own land and Palestinians to live safely in a viable state of their own," Archbishop Migliore said.

The Quartet

He continued: "This can only be achieved if the international community, and in particular the Quartet [the United Nations, United States, Europe and Russia] shoulders the burden of reactivating genuine negotiations with all dispatch.

"It is a sad fact that the international community has failed to engage the Israelis and Palestinians in significant and substantive dialogue along with dispute resolution in order to bring stability and peace to both.

"It falls squarely upon the international community to use its good offices to facilitate with all speed a rapprochement between the two sides. Evidently, those brokering the negotiations will have to maintain a balanced approach, avoiding the imposition of preconditions on either side."

The Holy See official emphasized that "a lasting solution must include the status of the holy city of Jerusalem," internationally guaranteed.

"In light, too, of the numerous incidents of violence and challenges to free movement posed by the Security Wall," he added, "the Holy See renews its support for internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities."