Faith leaders urge positive US response to Israel-Palestine summit

By staff writers
November 2, 2007

The president of the National Council of Churches USA (NCCUSA) and eight leaders of its 35 member communions are among three dozen Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders urging the US to be positive in preparing for the upcoming Arab-Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Rev Michael Livingston, NCCUSA's president, is part of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI). In a letter faxed yesterday to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, NILI urges US support for principles and practical ideas for resolving the final status issues developed by Israelis and Palestinians and reflected in documents such as the Geneva Accord.

In January 2007, Dr Rice met with NILI and leaders of 25 national organizations. NILI has also met twice with R. Nicholas Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs, about preparations for the Annapolis peace conference. Burns will meet with NILI members again on Friday 9 November 2007.

The National Council of Churches USA is the ecumenical voice of 35 of America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These NCCUSA member communions have 45 million members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 US states.

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