According to AsiaNews, Mgr Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio in Jerusalem, commented that the summit is a positive step in the direction towards peace. He stressed that “the atmosphere in the region is changing, violence is no longer acceptable.”
On Tuesday, the hope to open a new page in the history of warring Middle
East was seen as the new Palestinian authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced a formal end to all violence
at a summit in an Egyptian resort.
Churches in the Middle East are particularly encouraged in witnessing the
breakthrough in the peace dialogue in this post-Yasser Arafat era after
four years of bloodshed.
During the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon pledged to free hundreds
of Palestinian prisoners currently detained in Israeli prisons. Withdrawal
of Israeli soldiers from Palestinian towns is also being considered.
According to AsiaNews, Mgr Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio in Jerusalem,
commented that the summit is a positive step in the direction towards
peace. He stressed that “the atmosphere in the region is changing, violence
is no longer acceptable.”
“The path is long and climbing,” Mgr Sambi expressed his hope in the
ongoing peace making journey, “but every journey begins with one step, and
the step made today is positive and in the right direction.” He called on
the support of the international community and world leaders to support
Church leaders around the world affirmed the event as a signal of new hope
for a just and peaceful settlement as well. From the US, the National
Council of Churches (NCC) has long favoured a bi-partisan solution to the
The Methodist Church of Great Britain, as part of the Middle East Forum of
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have cautioned that addressing the
land issue, and the question of occupation as well as security, is vital.
“Although this is only the start of a long and difficult journey towards
lasting peace,” Anthea Cox, Methodist coordinating secretary for Public
Life and Social Justice said, “we celebrate that the first steps have been
“The US, the United Nations and the European Union all have roles to play
in this, but peace can only come if the peoples and leaders of Israel and
Palestine want it. Today’s announcement is good news for the whole region,
and our prayers are with all those who will carry this process forward.”