Palermo at the International Conference of Italian cities twinned with Bethlehem
The City of Palermo, represented by the Councilor for Social Activities, Giuseppe Mattina, participated, last April 21 in Assisi, at the International Conference of Italian cities twinned with Bethlehem.
Among the others were the mayors of Assisi, Stefania Proietti and of Bethlehem, Anton Salman, together with representatives of the other twinned Italian cities, the Ambassadors of Palestine in Italy and the Holy See, Mai Alkaila and Issa Kassisieh, the president of the of the Umbria Region, Catiuscia Marini, His Excellency Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino Bishop of Assisi, Father Ibrahim Faltas of the Custody of the Holy Land, the representatives of 24 Italian Associations and also the President of the Centro Padre Nostro who together with the John Paul II Foundation is activating development projects in Bethlehem.
During the works five strategic objectives were identified: working for Peace for the Palestinians, basing on justice, equality, mutual respect, freedom and respect for human dignity in the observance of International Law, preserving religious, historical and cultural heritage of the city of Bethlehem, to support the city of Bethlehem for the realization of its strategic plan from 2018 until 2021, to confirm the intent of the Italian cities for the development of the city of Bethlehem to improve the daily life of its citizens, improve the aspects and tourist services in Bethlehem to accommodate all the pilgrims, build a network (Coordination Committee) between the Italian cities and Bethlehem to work together on various types of cooperation projects.
“Peace in Palestine – declared Mayor Leoluca Orlando and Councilor Mattina – is a fundamental element of peace throughout the Middle East and in the world. The historical role of Bethlehem, the possibility that its sacred places can be enjoyed by everyone and the freedom of access are an integral part of the peace process. Also for this reason, in view of the collaboration with the city of which Palermo has been a twin since 2013, the Administration intend to support the strategic plan of Bethlehem, collaborating in the activation of public and private cooperation resources “
During the meeting, an appeal for peace in Syria was also signed by the municipalities present and by the association of the Italian Municipalities following the recent agenda approved by the city council of Palermo.
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