Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, has called for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
The talks require "courageous decisions from both parties" and demand "fair mutual concessions," the archbishop said Jan. 26 during the U.N. Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East, Vatican Radio reported.
Archbishop Auza said acts of violence in the Holy Land "continue to spiral, bringing many to doubt seriously the continued validity of the Oslo Accords."
The papal envoy also expressed hope that the Comprehensive Agreement recently signed between the Holy See and Palestinian leaders "may serve as an example of dialogue and cooperation ... for other Arab and Muslim majority countries" where in "some countries" Christians have suffered persecution.
The accord, signed on June 26, entered into force on Jan. 2 and concerns the life and activity of the church in the Palestinian territories.
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