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Bishop calls for Palestinian statehood

The Church of England's Lead Bishop for Foreign Affairs, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, and his Roman Catholic counterpart have released a joint statement calling for the recognition of Palestine as an independent state. The statement was released shortly before MPs were expected to debate the motion, "This House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel."

The joint statement released on Monday 13 October 2014 said:

"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."

"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. 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."

Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth
Bishop of Coventry
Church of England’s Lead Bishop for Foreign Affairs

Rt Revd Declan Lang
Bishop of Clifton
Chair, Department for International Affairs
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales