Dr. Khouri meets the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Patolin at the Vatican

Member of the PLO Executive Committee and Head of the Higher Presidential Committee for Churches Affairs in Palestine, Dr. Ramzi Khouri held a constructive meeting with the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the Vatican, where they thoroughly discussed the latest political developments, Israeli violations and aspects of relations with ways to enhance and advance bilateral work.

Dr. Khouri conveyed the warm regards of President Mahmoud Abbas to Cardinal Parolin and handed him an official letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to His Holiness Pope Francis, presenting the overall situation in Palestine. The letter sheds light on Israeli violations against Palestinians, including continued attacks on Muslim and Christian Holy Sites, permitted by the current extremist Israeli government.

Within this context, Dr. Khouri briefed Cardinal Parolin on Israel’s plan to control Jerusalem by altering the historical, demographic, and religious identity of Jerusalem, through a series of polices. The most recent of these policies involved the forced imposition of Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools by Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem. Dr. Khouri warned against the dangerous implications of such a measure, emphasizing that Israel seeks to distort the facts by propagating the Israeli narrative while denying the existence of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian identity. He also highlighted the deliberate targeting of Muslim and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem, particularly Al Aqsa Mosque and the Mount of Olives.

For his part, Cardinal Parolin stressed the paramount importance of preserving the historical status quo of Jerusalem from any changes. He referred to the recent statement made by the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher during the UNGA General Debate in New York this week, which reaffirmed the Holy See’s commitment to upholding international law and safeguarding the status of Jerusalem.

The positive meeting also reviewed ways to enhance mutual cooperation and coordination between Palestine and the Holy See.

This meeting comes as part of an official visit to attend the ceremony of appointing the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa to the position of cardinal on September 30th.

Dr. Khouri was accompanied by Mustafa Abu El Rob, Advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, Issa Qassiseh, Ambassador of Palestine to the Holy See, and Father Ibrahim Faltas, Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land accompanied Dr. Khouri to the meeting.

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