Pope Shenouda warns against Israeli covetous eyes
Lebanon-Egypt, Politics, 5/28/2001
Head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Shenouda III warned against "the Israeli greediness which knows no limits."
During a news conference he held Sunday by the end of his visit to Lebanon, Shenouda said that Israel benefits from inter Arab discrepancies anddifferences, calling on the Arabs to adopt a unified stance in the face of the Israeli aggressions.
Pope Shenouda who arrived to Beirut on Thursday congratulated the Lebanese people on the occasion of the first anniversary of liberating South Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.
In statements upon arrival, he described as "a tragedy" the Israeli occupation forces' brutal practices committed against defenseless Palestinians.
The Pope added that these actions had aroused anger in all the Arab states.
Asked on Israeli Prime Minister's threats against the Arab states, especially Syria and Lebanon, the Pope said: "We are not intimidated by such threats as long as we have self-confidence and defend our legitimate rights."
He pointed out that these threats tarnished Israel's reputation in the international community because the international relations were not established by threats but by understanding.
After leaving Lebanon, Pope Shenouda III, Head of the Egyptian Coptic Church, arrived in Damascus late Sunday on a few days visit.
In statements upon arrival, Pope Shenouda underlined the need to close Arabs' ranks and condemned the Israeli hostilities against the Palestinians.
Pope Shenouda voiced hope that Syria would restore the occupied Golan Heights as soon as possible.
He noted that the Palestinians who suffer Israeli killings and devastation should be supported.
On the other hand, Pope Shenouda has approved a bid by a cleric to run in parliamentary elections.
Bishop Salib Matta Ewiras, member of the Christian Community Council, will contest a seat for the legislature in the Cairo constituency of Shubra.
Ecclesiastical sources in Cairo Sunday dismissed as inaccurate recent reports that Pope Shenouda had barred Christian clerics from getting engaged in political activities.
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