.- Two important Church officials, Cardinal Renato Martino and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Michel Sabbah, have expressed their satisfaction at the conclusions reached in at the peace conference in Annapolis on Tuesday. As a result of the summit, the leaders of Israel and Palestine have committed to formal negotiations for establishing peace in the Holy Land.
In statements to the SIR news agency, Archbishop Sabbah said he was hopeful leaders of both countries would “not repeat the same errors” of the past, and emphasized that the timeline for a peace agreement “is not too long”—one year in which “all of the issues should be resolved in order to avoid a new failure.”
In Annapolis, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to begin formal negotiations in December in order to hammer out a peace agreement by the end of 2008. This is the first time in seven years that formal negotiations have existed.
Cardinal Martino said he was enthused by the announcement and called it “a good start that is encouraging to all those who are sensitive to the situation in the Middle East, and therefore we hope it will take shape.”
“We always call for a just solution for the problems of the Middle East. This first step is a cause for joy and I hope the proposed timeframe will be respected,” he added.