2006 News Archives

Archbishop Demetrios Among National Religious Leaders Calling Congress to Make Peace in the Middle East Top Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy

New York, NY – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America is one of thirty-five national Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders that have issued a united call for the Bush Administration and the new Congress to make Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace a top priority of U.S. foreign policy.

The statement, Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace: From Crisis to Hope, affirms peace as “an essential of faith” in all three religious traditions and asserts that our nation has “an inescapable responsibility and an indispensable role to provide creative, determined leadership for building a just peace for all in the Middle East.”

The statement agrees with the Baker-Hamilton Report that concludes that renewed efforts for comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace are essential for achieving U.S. goals in the Middle East. The leaders of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative will seek a meeting with Secretary of State Rice to express their support for urgent U.S. leadership for peace.

The new six-page statement calls on the United States to:
  • Exercise persistent, determined leadership at the highest levels to secure a comprehensive and just resolution of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 1397.
  • Work, in coordination with the Quartet (U.S., European Union, Russia, United Nations), to create conditions that bring about serious negotiations for a two-state solution following the lines of the Roadmap and earlier civil society initiatives;
  • Support full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1559 in relation to Lebanon; and
  • Undertake diplomatic efforts to restart Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese negotiations for peace.

The religious leaders committed themselves “to working with the Administration and with Congress to support active, fair and firm U.S. leadership to help Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states achieve a just peace.” The leaders pledged themselves “to building public support for peace with justice for all in the region.”

The full statement is available at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/nilistatement.htm.

Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos
Orthodox Observer Online