Israeli Ambassador reacts to Pope’s speech to diplomats

2012-01-09 Vatican Radio

In his address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See Monday, Pope Benedict spoke of the Holy Land, “where tensions between Palestinians and Israelis affect the stability of the entire Middle East.” In urging the two sides to commit to peace talks, the Pope said “it is necessary that the leaders of these two peoples adopt courageous and farsighted decisions in favour of peace.”

The Holy Father added he was pleased to learn “that following an initiative of the Kingdom of Jordan, dialogue has been resumed,” and expressed his hope that it will be maintained and that it will lead to a lasting peace which guarantees the right of the two peoples to dwell in security in sovereign states and within secure and internationally recognized borders.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Mordechay Lewy, was among diplomats present for the papal speech in the Vatican Monday. He told Vatican Radio’s Tracey McClure :

“I am very much pleased that the Holy Father mentioned these new developments which are indeed encouraging – renewing talks after a stallmate of longer than one year is definitely good news. And even better news is that Jordan this time stepped in and is a facilitator…we are not a prophet; we don’t know what will come out (of the talks) but it cannot be worse than not talking, so I think the Holy Father saw the light in the window and he encouraged the lights to be stronger and I think that’s very much welcomed by us.”

Listen to Tracey McClure’s full interview with Ambassador Lewy: