Cardinals receive Russian senator, discuss Jerusalem shrines status

Monsignor Jean-Louis Tauran, Secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States, and Pietro Tarolin, his deputy, met in the Vatican City with Mikhail Marghelov, foreign affairs committee head at the Federation Council, the Russian parliament's upper house, currently in Italy on visit.

They debated an idea for an international conference to preserve the status quo ante of Jerusalem shrines on Russian senatorial committee initiative.

The conference is to attract global public attention to the fate of religious shrines in a lasting Israeli-Palestinian confrontation.

The Russian Orthodox Church, the Holy See, the Russian Muftiyate and the Council of Europe are willing to take part in the tentative conference, added Mr. Marghelov. He sees Geneva as its best possible venue.

Russia highly values peacemaking efforts by the Holy See, and is eager to join it for team efforts in many fields. "We firmly cling to our stance on the Vatican, and want a closer political dialogue," reassured the Senator.

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