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Holy See urges open, constructive dialogue in Middle East

Monsignor Fredrik Hansen, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York, on Wednesday spoke at a Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

By Robin Gomes

While reiterating its steadfast commitment to peace and its support for initiatives to advance negotiated solutions, especially in the Middle East, the Holy See is also calling on all parties to promote open and constructive dialogue. 

Monsignor Fredrik Hansen, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York, made the call on Wednesday at a Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question. 

Keeping flame of dialogue alive in ME

The Holy See official expressed concern over a “vaster conflict” that could be sparked by tensions flaring between Iran and the United States and the crises in Iraq and Lebanon. In this situation, he said, “it is of utmost importance that the support and the commitment of the international community keep the flame of dialogue alive and that these challenges be addressed with a holistic approach”.

Msgr. Hansen also echoed the call of Pope Francis for a steadfast and effective engagement to counteract “the pall of silence that risks falling over the war that has devastated Syria over the course of the last decade”. The Holy Father has called for suitable and far-sighted solutions for the war-exhausted people of Syria “to regain peace and to begin the reconstruction of the country”. 

Msgr. Hansen also drew attention to the conflict in Yemen, which is suffering one of the most serious humanitarian crises.

Jerusalem and Israeli-Palestinian peace 

Addressing the situation in the Holy Land, Msgr. Hansen reiterated the stand of the Holy See and Pope Francis regarding Jerusalem and its vocation to be a “symbolic place of encounter and of peaceful coexistence where mutual respect and dialogue are cultivated”. 

In this regard, he reiterated the Holy See’s support for the UN’s call to maintain the status quo of the holy sites of Jerusalem, dear to Jews, Christians and Muslims. 

The Holy See also called on the international community to reconfirm its commitment to support the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. 

Peace in the world

What Pope Francis recently said with regard to Israel and Palestine, he said, could be applied to the wider region and across the world, where many are still awaiting a time of peace, security and prosperity. 

In conclusion, Msgr. Hansen reiterated the Holy See’s steadfast commitment to peace and its support for all initiatives that strive to ensure the advancement of negotiated solutions. He also encouraged all parties to promote open and constructive dialogue based on the founding principles of the UN 75 years ago. 

23 January 2020, 13:39