Liverpool Archbishop: UN bid is 'opportunity' for Middle East

The Archbishop of Liverpool has called for "intensified prayers" for a solution to the Middle East conflict as the Palestinians take their bid for unilateral statehood to the UN.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly expressed his support for a statement, released by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, that described this week's UN General Assembly session as "the most appropriate time for an opportunity" to resume diplomatic efforts for peace.

The church group set out its support for principles including support for a two state solution, a call for restraint from both the Palestinians and the Israelis "whatever the outcome" at the UN and the idea that negotiations remained "the best way to resolve all outstanding problems between the two sides".

The statement also emphasised Jerusalem as "a Holy City to the followers of all three Abrahamic faiths, in which all people should be able to live in peace and tranquillity"

Archbishop Kelly said he his firsthand experience of Israel had convinced him that the principles outlined in the statement should be supported.

He added: "This moment demands such integrity in those with power…that they approach the issues of these days setting aside personal ambition and speak and act only resolved to further the well-being of the two peoples in the Holy Land."

Last updated: 4:51pm, September 22 2011