New York City, N.Y., Feb 2, 2016 / 06:02 am
Peace was the focus of the Holy See's representative in a recent speech to the United Nations, where he renewed calls to support negotiations between Israel and Palestine and between the warring factions in Syria.
“Certain elements among both peoples have suffered too long from the misguided view that force will resolve their differences. Only sustained negotiations, entered into in good faith, will resolve their differences and bring peace to the peoples of Israel and Palestine,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the apostolic nuncio heading the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the U.N., said Jan. 26.
Speaking on behalf of the Holy See, he addressed the Security Council’s open debate on the situation in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying it has stalled.
“With the lack of substantive negotiations taking place, acts of violence continue to spiral, bringing many to doubt seriously the continued validity of the Oslo Accords,” he said, referring to the 1993 agreement between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.
Archbishop Auza said the Holy See believes the Israeli-Palestinian peace process can advance only if it is directly negotiated between the two parties, with strong international support.
“This certainly requires courageous decisions from both parties and demands fair mutual concessions. But there is no alternative, if both Israel and Palestine are to enjoy security, prosperity and peaceful co-existence, side by side with internationally recognized borders.”
The archbishop cited Pope Francis’ Jan. 11 remarks to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. There, the Pope voiced hope that the New Year “can heal the deep wounds dividing Israelis and Palestinians, and enable the peaceful coexistence of two peoples who – of this I am sure – in the depth of their hearts ask only for peace.”
The nuncio commented: “Acts of violence and inflammatory rhetoric must be set aside in favor of the voices of dialogue to give both peoples that peace for which their hearts long.”