DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     February 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 36

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE MEETS ARAFAT, TALKS CENTER ON JERUSALEM

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Friday, February 19.

          After the private meeting-- which had included discussion of the status of Jerusalem, Arafat told reporters that the ancient city could serve as capital both for Israel and for a Palestinian state, "in the same way that Rome is at the same time the capital of the Vatican and that of the Italian government." (Technically, Arafat's comparison with Rome is not accurate, since the Vatican is located on independent territory within the city.) He proposed that eastern Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital, and western Jerusalem would serve Israel. But he added that the city should function "without any wall in the middle-- not like in Berlin."

          Sources for the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority reported that the talks between Arafat and the Holy Father were "cordial." They confirmed that Jerusalem was a primary concern, but added that the talks had also included mention of the general situation in the Middle East and the status of negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli government.

          Arafat also renewed his invitation for the Pope to visit Bethlehem during the year 2000. That invitation was strongly endorsed by the city's Mayor Hanna Nasser. The Pope replied that he hoped to accept the invitation.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 36
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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