01VATICAN6195 / 2001-11-30 13:04:00
Embassy Vatican
                C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 006195 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE (DEBORAH MENNUTI); S (CRAIG KELLY) 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 214/01 
 
E.O. 12958:DECL:11/29/11 
 
TAGS: PREL, RM, RO, IS, VT 
SUBJECT: VATICAN PUSHING FORWARD ON THE MIDDLE EAST 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR NICHOLSON FOR REASONS 1.5 (A) AND 
(D) . 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  06195  301326Z 
 1. (C) THE VATICAN ANNOUNCED ON NOVEMBER 28 THAT IT HAS 
 INVITED THE LEADERS OF THE DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES 
 IN THE HOLY LAND TO A MEETING ON DECEMBER 13. THE VATICAN 
 PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT CATEGORIZES THE MEETING AS PURELY 
 "PASTORAL" IN NATURE. 
 
 2. (C) DCM SPOKE WITH HIS ISRAELI COUNTERPART NOVEMBER 29. 
 ISRAELI DCM SAID THAT HIS EMBASSY HAS DISCOVERED THAT THE 
 MEETING IS BEING ORGANIZED BY THE VATICAN FOREIGN MINISTRY, 
 AND NOT ONE OF THE VATICAN COUNCILS (I.E. MINISTRIES) WHICH 
 WOULD NORMALLY BE INVOLVED IN RELIGIOUS/PASTORAL AFFAIRS. 
 IN ADDITION, THE ISRAELIS BELIEVE THAT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF 
 THE MEETING WAS MEANT TO COINCIDE WITH A DOCUMENT ISSUED BY 
 THE CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN ISRAEL AND THE TERRITORIES 
 CONDEMNING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NAZARETH MOSQUE. 
 
 3. (C) COMMENT: THE TIMING OF THIS MEETING, COUPLED WITH 
 THE VATICAN'S REQUEST FOR A MEETING WITH SECRETARY POWELL 
 IS A STRONG INDICATION THAT THE VATICAN IS PREPARED TO 
 BEGIN ACTIVELY PUSHING WHAT IT CONSIDERS ITS INTERESTS IN 
 THE MEPP.  IT IS LIKELY THAT IT SEES AN OPENING CREATED BY 
 THE WAR ON TERRORISM TO PRESSURE THE ISRAELIS ON THE ISSUE 
 OF INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEES FOR THE RELIGIOUS SHRINES.  IT 
 IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT THAT FOREIGN MINISTER WILL RAISE THE 
 ISSUE OF THE NAZARETH MOSQUE WHEN HE MEETS THE SECRETARY ON 
 DECEMBER 4.  NICHOLSON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA06195 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


            
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