Vatican supports two-state solution in Israel-Palestine conflict

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See addresses the General Assembly Credit UN Photo Lou Rouse CNA US Catholic News 9 29 11 Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, addresses the General Assembly. | UN Photo-Lou Rouse

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s number two State Department official, called Sept. 27 for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in remarks delivered in New York. He insisted that “if we want peace, courageous decisions have to be made.”

Archbishop Mamberti, whose official title is Secretary for Relations with States, encouraged “the realization of the right of Palestinians to have their own independent and sovereign state, and the right of Israelis to guarantee their security.” He also insisted that both states be “provided with internationally recognized borders.”

The archbishop addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 27. In his French-language address, he discussed Palestine’s Sept. 23 application to be recognized as a member state of the United Nations.

Archbishop Mamberti referenced Resolution 181 of the General Assembly, also known as the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

The resolution, which was adopted in 1947, recommended the creation of two states in the Palestine region.

“This fundamental document raises the legal basis for the existence of two states,” he said.

“One of the states has already been created, while the other has not been established yet, although nearly sixty-four years have passed.”

Archbishop Mamberti expressed hope “that the bodies of the United Nations will take a commitment to helping the effective implementation of the ultimate objective” of ensuring security, sovereignty and independence for both Palestinians and Israelis.

“The U.N. response will not constitute a complete solution and we will not achieve lasting peace without negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, avoiding actions or conditions that contradict the statements of goodwill,” the archbishop acknowledged.

“The Holy See, therefore, urges the parties to resume negotiations with determination and addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to increase its commitment and to stimulate its creativity and its initiative, so that we can arrive at a lasting peace, respecting the rights of Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Vatican has previously chosen not to comment on Palestine’s bid for statehood, although the idea was strongly supported by the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The United States has voiced opposition to the measure, arguing that Palestinian statehood should be accomplished only with the cooperation of Israel. The United States is expected to veto a Palestinian resolution asking for recognition as a member state in the U.N. Security Council.

Israel has also opposed Palestinian statehood, arguing that a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations would effectively “delegitimize” the statehood of Israel.

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