The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England have released a joint statement calling on MPs to vote in favour of a parliamentary motion to recognise Palestine as an independent state.
In the statement, Bishop Declan Lang, the chair of the department for international affairs, and the Church of England’s lead bishop for foreign affairs, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, said that “the right of Palestinians for such statehood has been long overdue.”
MPs will vote on the motion in the House of Commons later today.
“At a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, we hold that it is the reasonable aspiration of all peoples to belong to a state and enjoy the merits of full and active citizenship on their own lands. We equally believe that the right of Palestinians for such statehood has been long overdue,” the statement said.
“Given the benchmarks established by international law and universal legitimacy, and in light of the support offered by the Christian Church in the Holy Land, we believe Palestinians should also have a state that they can at long last call home.
The statement continued: “Such a principled recognition by our Parliament and Government will facilitate rather than hamper the negotiations that would inevitably follow between Israelis and Palestinians to agree upon the details of this new and sovereign state created next to a secure Israel. Peace needs a bold vision.”
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