Papal Visit in Israel

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
January 12, 2000

The State of Israel, and its citizens of all religions, extend greetings of welcome to Pope John Paul II upon his upcoming pilgrimage visit to Israel.

The State of Israel commends Pope John Paul II on his part in the struggle against anti-semitism, xenophobia and racism in all its forms.

For the past few months, Israeli government authorities, in cooperation with the Vatican, have been making all the necessary preparations for the visit in Israel, and the pilgrimage to the country’s holy sites, with the highest degree of grandeur, distinction and security, as is befitting a dignitary of this stature.

The Pope’s visit in Israel will take place between the 21st and 26th of March, and will be conducted in accordance with the rules of protocol applicable to visits by heads of state. The program will include state arrival and departure ceremonies, meetings with the President, Prime Minister and Chief Rabbis, and visits to Yad VaShem and the Western Wall.

The Government of Israel is convinced that the Pope as well regrets that, due to circumstances beyond human control, he was prevented from dedicating more of his time to an in-depth encounter with the resurrection and renewal of the Jewish people in the land of their forefathers.