Pope’s new ambassador meets with Presidents of Israel and PA
HOLY LAND – As the new representative of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on December 12, and Israel President Shimon Peres on December 4 to present his credential letters.
The meeting with the head of the Palestinian Authority took place in Ramallah. The new Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, congratulated, on behalf of the Holy See, Mahmoud Abbas on the decision of the UN General Assembly that made Palestine an Observer State at the United Nations. The President was pleased with the bilateral relations between Palestine and the Holy See.
On Tuesday, December 4, Archbishop Lazzarotto, who is also the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel, met with the President of the State of Israel to hand over his credential letters. On that occasion, Shimon Peres said he had “the greatest respect for His Holiness,” the President also said to the new ambassador of the Vatican, “I know that you bring goodwill to the relationship between Israel and the Holy See, even here you will find good will.” The President also expressed his hope that “these relations will continue to improve.” On the same day, President Peres had sent the Pope a message via Twitter. “Your Holiness,welcome to Twitter. Our relations with the Vatican are at their best and can be the basis for peace spread everywhere”, wrote the President of Israel https://twitter.com/Pontifex at the opening of the Pope’s account (Pontifex @).
Archbishop Lazzarotto for his part stressed the importance of “good will” and conveyed the “cordial greetings” of Pope Benedict XVI, adding that “we must work together for peace, for good understanding and dialogue.”
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Lazzarotto Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine. He succeeds Archbishop Antonio Franco, who retired for reasons of age. Archbishop Lazzarotto began his mission in the service of the Holy Land with a solemn ceremony at the Holy Sepulchre on November 26.