Aram I Outlines Needs for Middle East Peace

GENEVA–During remarks at the opening of the Middle East International Peace Assembly–His Holiness Aram I–the Catholics of Holy See of Cilicia–said justice was a necessary precondition for establishment of peace and security in Middle East.

"The rights of Palestinian people are violated–Palestinian lands are conquered by Israel–the self-determination right of Palestinian people is denied–several territories in Syria and Lebanon are still under Israeli controlc. How can anybody talk about peace and security in those conditions?" Stressed the Catholicos. He also said that peace–security and justice can not be partial and these principles must be respected by all. "How can Israel possibly desire peace while it is violating the rights of others at the same time. Consequently–the Middle East Peace process must be led by principles–which will guarantee peace and security for all," added His Holiness.

This unique international conference–which is dedicated to the Palestinian crisis–specifically the Jerusalem issue–was organized by the World Council of Churches–featuring representatives from influential churches and other organizations including representatives from the Palestinian Authority–the United Nations and others who are involved in the Middle East peace process. The Assembly is being chaired by Aram I.

In his opening remarks–Aram I presented the purpose of the Assembly–emphasizing the urgency of a pan-Christian direction and clarifying the proper frameworks within the Middle East peace process.

The Secretary of the World Council of Churches as well as UN Human Rights Committee representative Doctor John Tivkar.

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