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Thursday, December 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, released the following statement this afternoon:

'Today, December 11, 2003, the Holy Father John Paul II received in audience Silvan Shalom, minister of Foreign Affairs for the State of Israel. Afterward Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Section for Relations with States, met with Mr. Shalom.

'In the course of their conversations, the parties expressed their point of view on the path to follow in order to obtain peace in the Holy Land.

'In particular, the need to find a solution to the current situation was insisted upon, as well as the need for concrete acts of reconciliation on
both sides.

'During the encounter, bilateral issues that concern the life of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land were examined in light of the commitments undertaken with the Fundamental Agreement of 1993.'


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