John Kerry Meets With Vatican Secretary of State


Israel-Palestine, Middle East tensions, Guantanamo Bay among issues discussed

US Secretary of State John Kerry met in the Vatican Monday with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State.  A note from Vatican Press Office spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, specified that the American delegation included the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, and two members of the State Department staff.  The Holy See was represented by three Curia officials responsible for the topics covered.

According to Father Lombardi, the main topics discussed were the situation in the Middle East, and the commitment of the U.S. to avoid the escalation of tensions and the explosion of violence; also the commitment to promote a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The possibility of closing the United States’ Guantanamo Bay prison was also discussed and the desire expressed for the Holy See’s assistance in seeking adequate humanitarian solutions for current inmates.

The short time available for Monday’s discussions prevented both sides from examining other issues in depth, though some were mentioned, in particular, the situation in Ukraine and its prospects and the emergency surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

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