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.

Sincerely,

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.