.- Commenting on a report about the refugee situation in Palestine, the apostolic nuncio to the U.N. lamented the “tragic reality” that the situation is “unresolved.” He called for a “lasting solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that includes religious freedom and guarantees access to holy sites for the residents of Jerusalem.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, head of the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations, on Tuesday delivered a statement to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the matter of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The annual UNRWA report, he said, speaks of the difficulties Palestinian refugees have endured for six decades.
“The Holy See understands precisely how the current situation has impacted the lives of millions with great adversity,” the archbishop declared, noting the relief work of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine.
Archbishop Migliore advised a “balanced approach” to peace negotiations that avoids imposing preconditions on either side.
“A lasting solution must include the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem,” he added.
The Holy See reiterated its support for internationally guaranteed provisions for freedom of religion for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The archbishop also called for residents’ “permanent, free and unhindered access” to the holy sites of their religions.
“We repeat our call to the international community to facilitate significant negotiations between the conflicting parties,” his address concluded. “Only with a just and lasting peace – not imposed but secured through negotiation and reasonable compromise – will the legitimate aspirations of all the peoples of the Holy Land be fulfilled.”