Pope and Nobel Prize winner Peres in terrorism declaration

Benedict XVI and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres have jointly condemned all forms of terrorism, regardless of pretexts.

According to a Vatican statement, the pope and Mr Peres, who is also the 1994 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, met yesterday to discuss the difficult road to peace in the Middle East.

The statement said that Mr Peres also met Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, in the presence of Oded Ben-Hur, Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, and Msgr Pietro Parolin, under-secretary of the Section for Relations with States.

"In the course of the discussions", the statement said, "opinions were exchanged concerning the problem of peace in the Holy Land while respecting United Nations Resolutions and the agreements concluded to date."

"In this context," it added, "there was a unanimous condemnation of all forms of terrorism, whatever pretexts used to try and justify it."

The Vatican statement said that: "Relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See were also examined, in the light of the agreements signed in 1993 and 1997, as were relations between the Israeli authorities and the Christian communities resident in the country."

At the meeting Shimon Peres renewed Israel's invitation to the pope to visit the country.

Photo credit: Stefano Spaziani

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7 Apr 2006