The Holy See “will not cease to reiterate the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians for a negotiated solution aimed at the peaceful coexistence of two States within the borders agreed between them and internationally recognised, in full respect of the distinctive nature of Jerusalem, whose significance goes beyond any considerations relating to territorial disputes”. Pope Francis wrote this in a message to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al Tayyib, delivered yesterday by the Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt, Mgr. Bruno Musarò, and read out this morning in Arabic by Mgr. Gaid Yoannis, the Pope’s personal secretary, to the participants in the “International Conference in Support of Jerusalem” promoted by Al-Azhar.
The Pope had been invited to attend the Conference but was unable to do so because of his apostolic journey to Chile. However, Pope Francis wrote, “from now on, I assure you that I will not fail to continue to implore God for the cause of peace, a true, real peace. In particular, I raise fervent prayers so that the leaders of nations, and civil and religious authorities in any place commit themselves to avert new spirals of violence and to support every effort to achieve harmony, justice and security for the peoples of that blessed Land which is so dear to me”. “Only a special statute – the Pope went on to write -, one that is also internationally guaranteed, can preserve” Jerusalem’s “identity, its unique vocation as a place of peace as evoked by its Sacred Places, as well as its universal value, enabling a future of reconciliation and hope for the whole region. This is the only aspiration of those who call themselves true believers and never tire of begging in prayer for a fraternal future for all”.