Final communiqué from the meeting of
The Permanent Committee for the Implementation of the Alexandria Declaration

Lambeth Palace

25th October 2002

As Muslims, Jews and Christians coming from the Holy Land we have met at Lambeth Palace under the leadership of The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey.

First, we affirm the first Alexandria Declaration, celebrating its respect for the three major religious traditions of the region, underscoring its rejection of violence, incitement to hatred and misrepresentation, cherishing its call for a just, secure and durable solution for the Holy Land and support for a religiously sanctioned cease-fire; and promoting its ambition to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Second, we commit ourselves to discuss the issues presented by the occupation and the ongoing violence.

From the Palestinian side it has been underlined that the ending of occupation, the withdrawal to the borders of 1967, the alleviation of the suffering of their people and the establishment of a strong, viable Palestinian state are preconditions for a peaceful future for all peoples living in the Holy Land.

From the Israeli side it has been underlined that the end of violence and the open acceptance of their presence in a Jewish state in the Holy Land are fundamental to the attainment of peace.

We acknowledge the fear of communities that there will never be open acceptance by the other of their right to be present in the Holy Land and believe that all have a duty to combat the mistrust that this generates.

Third, we recognised that it is essential to work together to establish a better understanding across the divides; to find ways of enabling each to see the common problems afresh, with the eyes of the other.

Fourth, as a sign of our ability to trust each other and work together, we believe that establishing the freedom for the faithful to worship each in their holy places should be a visible outworking of our commitment.

In looking to the future, we recognised the fundamental importance of ensuring that what we say of one another is free from invective and rhetoric and is not cast in stereotypes or generalisations. We need also to ensure that what is passed on to the next generation is not wrapped in fear and mistrust.

Therefore we, the members of the Alexandria Permanent Committee condemn all and any derogatory remarks directed to the faith, tenets and / or central figures of any of our faiths. Such remarks undermine our efforts and commitments to advance peace between our communities and, in their very character, do harm both to the faith defamed and the very religion in whose name they are made.

We call upon all responsible religious leaders to emphasise the essential need to demonstrate respect and dignity towards other faiths and their attachments for the sake of peace in the Middle East and the world at large and for the glory of the one Creator and Lord of the Universe.

We take this opportunity, on the eve of Ramadan, to greet the Islamic world in peace as they prepare for their Holy season.

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We acknowledge with gratitude the central role played in our deliberations by the leadership of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, the support of His Eminence Dr Said Tantawy, the Grand Imam of AlAzhar and the enormous contributions of the Centre for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral.

25th October 2002

Alexandria meeting establishes ten-point plan

A consultation of religious leaders from the Holy Land has issued a ten-point plan detailing the task and challenges ahead of them.

The two-day consultation, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, follows on from the first meeting of leaders in Alexandria which for the first time established personal relationships and a formal framework for discussion and consultation across the religious divides. The original meeting produced a Declaration signed by representatives from the three main faiths which remains a unique commitment to work together for peace and reconciliation.

The ten-point plan recognises the challenges ahead in implementing that agreement and seeks to set areas of work for the future.

The ten points are:

To maintain the relationship and channels of communication developed from the Alexandria Declaration;
To increase local ownership of the Alexandria Declaration implementation process;
To establish an inter-religious council for Jerusalem and the Holy sites;
To sustain the existing close working relationships with the political leadership of both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority;
To engage with those religious leaders who are seen to be instruments in the perpetuation of violence;
To establish and set in motion clear channels of communication with the Quartet;
To establish a program of education through religious institutions that will foster and encourage an environment of tolerance and eventual reconciliation;
To systematically work through the implementation of the Alexandria Declaration;
To provide encouragement for the delegates to the Permanent Committee, to enable them to continue the bold work that they have started;
To engage with other nations of the Middle East region, at the highest level.