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Pope Receives Israeli Envoy in Long, Private Audience

Ambassador Ehud Avriel of Israel had a long private audience today with Pope Paul VI. Immediately following the audience, the envoy left for Jerusalem for consultations. There was no statement as to the nature of the discussion.

A member of the Vatican staff, Msgr. Angelo G. Felice, has gone to Israel on a fact-finding mission and was to begin a tour of the holy places today. He was also due to confer with Israel Government officials.

Before his departure from Rome, the Osservatore della Domenica, generally accepted as a Vatican organ, published an article on the future of Jerusalem and the control of the holy places. The paper recalled that the Vatican had intervened in 1948 and 1949 when Pope Pius XII supported the internationalization of Jerusalem, and cited the papal pronouncement to the Cardinals on the same subject on June 26,

It said that the Vatican had never altered its position on the internationalization of Jerusalem and favored an international regime for the city based on United Nations principles and the Declaration of Human Rights, with freedom for all faiths and “where all the monotheistic faithful meet as brothers, sons of the same Father.”

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