Talks were held yesterday between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and British Christian leaders at Lambeth Palace.
The Palestinian Authority President spent time in discussion with a delegation of Christian leaders, about the prospects for peace, and the difficulties faced by everyone involved in the conflict.
The churchmen used the opportunity to highlight the plight of Christians in the Holy Land.
President Abbas said that the resumption of peace talks in the aftermath of the Arab Spring offered a rare opportunity which needs to be grasped.
Church of Scotland Moderator Rt Rev David Arnott said: "Having worshipped in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, I have seen the struggle of the Palestinian people in the very basics of living but also their deep desire for a negotiated peace between the peoples who share the land. I urge everyone to grasp this opportunity."
And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said that the talks had presented an opportunity for President Abbas to talk about his own hopes and concerns for the region.
Dr Williams said: "We continue to share the hopes of the Palestinian leadership for a lasting and just peace in the Holy Land, and we pray for the courage on all sides to break the current deadlock.
“Young people in Israel and in the Palestinian territories long for justice and stability and they must not be let down. We were deeply grateful to President Abbas for taking time to share with us his concerns and aspirations."
Archbishop Patrick Kelly, who was representing the international affairs department of the Catholic Bishops' Conference said: "Last week as part of the Holy Land Coordination, where we shared our faith with the Christian communities, we witnessed the effects of occupation and insecurity on the people of this land.
“There is an urgent need for strong and creative leadership in order to address the core issues of this long conflict. The people's desperate yearning for peace needs to be fulfilled and this meeting today with President Abbas reinforced our determination."
January 18th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross