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Israel: Prime minister thanks ‘courageous’ Pope for strengthening ties.
When a muslim reaction on the Pope resignation? Hehe, forget it.

Rome, 18 Feb. (AKI) – Israeli premier Benyamin Netanyahu has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI thanking him for his brave efforts to boost relations between Christians and Jews, the Vatican and the Jewish state, which has been seen by Adnkronos International (AKI).

The letter, which has not yet been made public, thanks Benedict “on behalf of the people of Israel” for his leadership “during these very turbulent times”.

“Your Holiness, On behalf of the people of Israel, I want to thank you for all you have done as Pope to strengthen relations between Christians and Jews and between the Vatican and the Jewish State,” the letter states.

“I thank you also for courageously defending Judeo-Christian values and the roots of our common civilisation during your time as pontiff. I have no doubt that these values, which were so essential to building the modern world, are no less critical to securing a future of security, prosperity and peace.”

The missive also alludes to Benedict’s landmark pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009.

“Your historic visit to Israel in 2009 offered a rare opportunity to give expression to the new relations between our faiths,” the letter reads.

“I remember fondly our meeting, in which you referred to Judaism as Christianity’s elder brother and in which you reaffirmed your commitment to a cooperative future between Christians and Jews.”

“I thank you for your leadership during these very turbulent times, and wish you long life, health and happiness,” the letter ends.

In a surprise move last week, 85-year-old Benedict announced he would step down as pope at the end of February, saying his advanced age and physical frailty made him unfit to lead the Catholic Church.

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