WEDNESDAY
March 15, 2000
volume 11, no. 53
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

KING OF JORDAN SAYS PAPAL VISIT WILL ENCOURAGE PEACE PROCESS
Monarch Wants Jerusalem as Capital of Both Israel and Palestine

    ROME, MAR 14 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II's presence in the Holy Land "will give us the hope and courage we need to conclude this process that will bring a stable peace," stated King Abdala II of Jordan. He holds that a Palestinian State "not only is necessary but inevitable" for obtaining that peace.

    On Monday, the King will receive the Pope on the first stage of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The King gave his views on the burning issues of the Middle East peace process, including the question of Jerusalem, to the Italian weekly magazine "Famiglia Cristiana."

    "The city [Jerusalem] must continue to be a symbol of peace and hope for the whole region, and it should not be the exclusive capital of one people at the expense of another. We believe that in Jerusalem there is room for two capitals and two independent nations," the King said.

    The creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to King Abdala II, is "inevitable," as it allows for the self-determination of the Palestinians and "is the only way to put an end to many decades of conflict between Israel and the Arab world."

    As regards the peace process, the King believes that "we are on the verge of resolving our problems once and for all. The negotiations between Syria and Israel have many possibilities of ending successfully in a short period of time."

    However, he believes that "the international community must continue to exert pressure on Israel and Syria to encourage them: peace and tranquility are within our reach," the King said enthusiastically.

    According to the Jordanian King, the enemies of peace are "the forces of darkness." "This is a minority that is found in all this region. One cannot say that there is a single country against peace; all the countries of the region want peace. I hope the majority will impose its will on the minority that does not want peace. I am convinced we will have peace, but we must know that there will be those who want to destabilize and place obstacles."

    Finally, the King added, "Beyond the religious and spiritual significance of the visit, there will be something that will allow for much discussion. Something that could be truly political: for us the visit will also be a symbol of the understanding that exists between the followers of Islam and those of Christianity." ZE00031411

          

March 15, 2000
volume 11, no. 53
NEWS & VIEWS

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