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Friday, November 30, 2012
Full Text: Vatican statement welcoming UN vote making Palestine an Observer State

It is a propitious occasion to recall also the common position that the Holy
See and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation expressed in the Basic
Agreement of 15 February 2000, intended to support the recognition of a
internationally guaranteed special statute for the City of Jerusalem, and
aimed, in particular, to safeguarding the freedom of religion and of
conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City,
respect for and freedom of access to its Holy Places.

The Holy See welcomes the decision of the UN by which Palestine has become
an Observer State (full text)
2012-11-30 Vatican Radio
http://www.news.va/en/news/the-holy-see-welcomes-with-favour-the-decision-of

The General Assembly has given majority approval to the Resolution by which
Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the United Nations.
Listen to our report:

Communiqué of the Holy See:

The Holy See has followed actively the steps which have led to this
important decision, while striving to remain neutral between the Parties,
and to act in accordance with its particular religious nature and universal
mission, and in consideration also of its specific attention to the ethical
dimension of international problems.

The Holy See considers, moreover, that today's vote should be placed within
the context of the efforts of giving a definitive solution, with the support
of the international community, to the question already dealt with by
Resolution 181 of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 29 November
1947. That document is the juridical basis for the existence of two States,
one of which has not been constituted in the successive sixty-five years,
while the other has already seen the light.

On 15 May 2009, while departing from"Ben Gurion" International Airport, Tel
Aviv, at the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict
XVI expressed the following: No more bloodshed! No more fighting! No more
terrorism! No more war! Instead let us break the vicious circle of violence.
Let there be lasting peace based on justice, let there be genuine
reconciliation and healing. Let it be universally recognized that the State
of Israel has the right to exist, and to enjoy peace and security within
internationally agreed borders. Let it be likewise acknowledged that the
Palestinian people have a right to a sovereign independent homeland, to live
with dignity and to travel freely. Let the two-state solution become a
reality, not remain a dream.

In the wake of that appeal, the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with
States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, speaking before the General Assembly
of the United Nations in 2011, expressed the hope that the competent Bodies
of the United Nations would adopt a decision which would help give concrete
implementation to that goal.

Today’s vote manifests the sentiment of the majority of the international
community and recognises a more significant presence to Palestinians within
the United Nations. At the same time, it is the conviction of the Holy See
that this result does not constitute, per se, a sufficient solution to the
existing problems in the Region: which, in fact, can only find an adequate
response through the effective commitment to building peace and stability,
in justice and in the respect for legitimate aspirations, both of the
Israelis and of the Palestinians.

Therefore, the Holy See, at various times, has invited the leaders of the
two Peoples to restart the negotiations in good faith and to avoid actions,
or the placing of conditions, which would contradict the declarations of
goodwill and the sincere search for solutions which could become secure
foundations for a lasting peace. Moreover, the Holy See has made a pressing
appeal to the International Community to increase its commitment and to
encourage its creativity, through the adoption of suitable initiatives which
may help to achieve a lasting peace, that respects the rights of Israelis
and of Palestinians. Peace needs courageous decisions!

Considering the outcome of today's vote of the General Assembly of the
United Nations, and to encourage the International Community, and in
particular the Parties directly concerned, towards concrete action in view
of the aforementioned objectives – the Holy See welcomes with favour the
decision of the General Assembly by which Palestine has become a Non- member
Observer State of the United Nations. It is a propitious occasion to recall
also the common position that the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation
Organisation expressed in the Basic Agreement of 15 February 2000, intended
to support the recognition of a internationally guaranteed special statute
for the City of Jerusalem, and aimed, in particular, to safeguarding the
freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of
Jerusalem as a Holy City, respect for and freedom of access to its Holy
Places.

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