A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem on the “Deal of the Century”

After a thorough consideration of the United States of America’s Middle East peace plan, also known as, the “Deal of the Century”, and after reviewing the reactions of all concerned parties on the matter, we, Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches, affirm our strong devotion to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the international legitimacy and the relevant UN resolutions and in a manner that guarantees security, peace, freedom and dignity to all of the peoples of the region.

The American peace plan that was announced yesterday in the White House in the presence of the Israelis and the absence of the Palestinians, invites us to request from the U.S. administration as well as the international community to build on the vision of two states and develop it in line with international legitimacy, in addition to opening a political communication channel with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the internationally recognized sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, to ensure that its legitimate national aspirations are also satisfied within the framework of a comprehensive and durable peace plan to be accepted by all relevant parties. And on Jerusalem we refer again to our statementaddressed to President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, and recall our vision for the Holy City to be open and shared by the two peoples, Palestinians and Israelis, and for the three monotheistic religions and our confirmation to uphold the Hashemite custodianship over the Holy Sites. The Resurrection of our Lord from Jerusalem reminds us all of the sacrifices to ensure justice and peace in the Holy Land.

We also call upon all Palestinian political parties, factions, and leaders to meet to discuss all disputes, end the state of internal conflict, terminate division, and adopt a unified stand towards concluding the state building based on plurality and democratic values.

Jerusalem, January 30, 2020

Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem

+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate

+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

+Archbishop Gabriel Daho, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Yaser Ayyash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate

+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate

+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

+Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

+Most Rev. Krikor-Okosdinos Coussa, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate