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Jerusalem patriarch has Christmas hopes for peace, democracy

Catholic World News - December 22, 2011

In his Christmas message, the Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has backed effort to promote democracy in the Middle East, and echoed the Vatican’s call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Speaking of the Arab Spring uprisings, Archbishop Fouad Twal said that he supported the drive toward freedom and democracy. He cautioned, however, that the rights of all people—including religious minorities—must be protected. He added the hope that “competent authorities make every effort to calm the spirits without violence.”

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, Archbishop Twal said that “to be with one of the parties does not mean to be against the other.” He called for a negotiated solution that would allow for two states “with security and internationally recognized borders.”

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