ROME — The Vatican issued a statement Wednesday warning Israel that “unilateral actions” in the West Bank and Jordan Valley would seriously compromise peace efforts in the area.
In its statement, the Holy See press office revealed the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, met with the Ambassadors of the United States of America and of the State of Israel on Tuesday.
At that meeting, Cardinal Parolin expressed “the concern of the Holy See regarding possible unilateral actions that may further jeopardize the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the delicate situation in the Middle East.”
The Vatican’s “concern” relates to plans to extend Israeli law over parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley in an effort to safeguard Jewish settlements in the West Bank and shore up Israel’s western border by annexing the Jordan Valley.
Israel has received the backing of the United States for its project, which explains why the Vatican secretary of state reached out to the U.S. ambassador as well as the Israeli ambassador.
“As already declared on 20 November 2019 and on 20 May 2020, the Holy See reiterates that the State of Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and to live in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” the Vatican statement reads.
“It thus appeals to the Parties to do everything possible to reopen the process of direct negotiation, on the basis of the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations, and aided by measures that can reestablish reciprocal confidence,” the statement concludes.