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Cablegate: Pope Calls for "Forgiveness, Not Revenge" In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS VATICAN 000564

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR EUR/WE (LEVIN); NEA/IAI

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM WE IS VT
SUBJECT: POPE CALLS FOR "FORGIVENESS, NOT REVENGE" IN
MEETING WITH PALESTINIAN PM


1.PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER AHMED QUREIA MET BRIEFLY
WITH POPE JOHN PAUL II FEBRUARY 12 DURING HIS TRIP TO
EUROPE TO RALLY OPPOSITION TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY BARRIER.
THE POPE TOLD QUREIA THAT THE HOLY LAND NEEDED "FORGIVENESS
NOT REVENGE, BRIDGES NOT WALLS," REPEATING THE THEME OF A
MESSAGE HE GAVE DURING ISRAELI FM SHALOM'S VISIT LAST
DECEMBER 11 WHEN HE CALLED FOR "CONCRETE ACTS OF
RECONCILIATION ON BOTH SIDES." ADDRESSING QUREIA'S
DELEGATION, POPE JOHN PAUL SAID THAT WHILE THERE ARE SOME
SIGNS OF HOPE, "THE SAD SITUATION IN THE HOLY LAND IS A
CAUSE OF SUFFERING FOR ALL." THE PONTIFF CALLED FOR THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S HELP TO CONVINCE ISRAELIS AND
PALESTINIANS TO TAKE UP THE "PATH OF DIALOGUE AND
NEGOTIATION."
2.THE POPE'S ADMONITION ABOUT BUILDING "BRIDGES NOT
WALLS" ECHOES REMARKS HE MADE LAST NOVEMBER WHEN HE WAS
EVEN MORE EXPLICIT IN HIS CRITICISM OF ISRAELI'S SECURITY
BARRIER. "THE CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL BETWEEN THE ISRAELI
AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IS SEEN BY MANY AS A NEW OBSTACLE ON
THE ROAD TO PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE," HE SAID AT THE TIME.
DURING QUERIA'S VISIT, THE POPE VOICED HIS DESIRE "THAT ALL
LEADERS OF THE REGION FOLLOW, WITH THE HELP OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THE PATH OF DIALOGUE AND
NEGOTIATION WHICH LEADS TO LASTING PEACE." HE ALSO TOLD
QUERIA THAT "NO ONE MUST YIELD TO THE TEMPTATION OF
DISCOURAGEMENT, LET ALONE TO HATRED OR RETALIATION."
3.COMMENT: THE HOLY SEE, AND POPE JOHN PAUL II IN
PARTICULAR, HAS BEEN CONSISTENT AND OUTSPOKEN IN ITS
OPPOSITION TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY BARRIER, AS WELL AS IN ITS
CONDEMNATION OF TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL. AS
S
REFLECTED IN THE HOLY SEE'S FOCUS ON THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN
CONFLICT IN THE RECENT MEETING WITH VICE PRESIDENT, THE
HOLY SEE IS INCREASINGLY CONCERNED BOUT WHAT IT TERMS "THE
SAD SITUATION IN THE HOLY LAND," WHICH IT NOTES IS "A
SOURCE OF SUFFERING FOR ALL." WE CAN EXPECT THE POPE TO
CONTINUE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE SECURITY BARRIER AND IN
FAVOR OF DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION..

NICHOLSON

NNNN

2004VATICA00564 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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