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Vatican asks Israel to get serious about peace efforts

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano has urged the Israeli Foreign Minister to speed up peace efforts with the Palestinians.

Cardinal Sodano met last week with Israeli Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom at the Vatican.

Discussions focused on recent US-backed efforts to build peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

A spokesman said talks focused on an "intensification and a rapid conclusion" of the peace process.

He said the talks also addressed "some bilateral questions" relating to the life of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land "that should be urgently resolved upon the basis of the commitments of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement" between Israel and the Vatican.

Catholic News Service

Pope Wants Mideast Peace Process Quickened (Zenit)
Cardinal Sodano meets with Israeli foreign minister (Catholic World News)
Declaration on meeting with Israel's foreign minister (Vatican Information Service)

15 Jul 2003