Joint Statement: Right of Palestinians to belong to an independent state “long overdue”

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Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department for International Affairs, and the Church of England’s Lead Bishop for Foreign Affairs, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, have released a joint statement on the parliamentary motion to recognise Palestine as an independent state.
MPs in the House of Commons vote on the motion on Monday, 13 October 2014.
“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 Declan Lang
Bishop of Clifton
Chair, Department for International Affairs
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth
The Lord Bishop of Coventry
Church of England’s Lead Bishop for Foreign Affairs