Al mashriq - The Levant

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                   Peres/Holst Letter regarding Jerusalem

I. The following is a letter sent by Foreign Minister Peres to Norway
Foreign Minister Holst on 11 October 1993.

                                              Jerusalem, October 11, 1993

Dear Minister Holst,

         I wish to confirm that the Palestinian institutions of East
Jerusalem and the interest and well-being of the Palestinians of East
Jerusalem are of great importance and will be preserved.

         Therefore, all the Palestinian institutions of East Jerusalem,
including the economic, social, educational and cultural, and the holy
Christian and Moslem places, are performing an essential task for the
Palestinian population.

         Needless to say, we will not hamper their activity; on the
contrary, the fulfillment of this important mission is to be encouraged.


                                             Shimon Peres
                                          Foreign Minister of Israel

His Excellency
Johan Jorgen Holst
Foreign Minister of Norway

II. The following is the text of a statement regarding Jerusalem made by
Foreign Minister Peres to the Knesset on 9 September 1993 which was also
sent to Foreign Minister Holst (11 October 1993):

Israel recognizes the religious significance of Jerusalem to all  the
prophetic religions. It respects its unique value in the spiritual as
well as in the daily lives of Jews, Moslems and Christians.  We  have
been and we shall remain strongly committed to the  absolute  freedom
of worship and  the  continuing  functioning  of  the  religious  and
spiritual institutions in Jerusalem.

We shall continue to respect the various aspects of religious life in
the city and will seek to  broaden  our  dialogue  with  the  various
religious institutions.

We will continue to refrain from any action which may  infringe  upon
the freedom of worship and access to the holy  sites,  or  which  may
hurt the feelings and sensitivities of the various  religious  groups
and denominations. This applies to all those who reside in  the  city
and those who make their pilgrimage to its shrines.

Jerusalem is a city of human, religious and cultural  mosaics.  Jews,
Moslems  and  Christians  live  in  the  city,  with  each  community
preserving its cultural heritage, social patterns  and  institutions,
as well as its educational systems.  The  harmonious  coexistence  in
Jerusalem depends on the  continued  functioning  of  these  systems,
institutions and holy sites.