LONDON: The Vatican’s Path to Peace Foundation has presented Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania with the 2022 Path to Peace award for their promotion of interfaith harmony and dialogue.
Commending the royal couple for a “years-long effort” in promoting peace and interfaith cooperation in the Middle East, Vatican Ambassador to the UN Archbishop Gabriele Caccia made the presentation at the foundation’s 29th annual gala in New York.
The envoy singled out the queen’s focus on education and the prioritization of young people in her work.
He said: “She has long shown concern for the questions of education, connectivity, and cross-cultural dialogue, as well as sustainability, the environment, and migration, which places young people at the heart of solutions and is imbued with a sense of hope.”
King Abdullah said he accepted the award on behalf of “Jordanians, men and women, young people and elders, Muslims and Christians alike.”
Noting that Jerusalem was also home to many Arab Christians, part of the oldest Christian community in the world, he noted that “our journey to peace must travel through Jerusalem,” describing the city as “key to the future and stability that we all seek.”
He added: “Jerusalem should be an anchor for peace and coexistence, not for fear and violence.
“The (world’s most difficult challenges) will be met by drawing on our faith in God, our common humanity, and our will to jointly defeat poverty and despair, and end occupation and injustice.
“(Also), to help refugees everywhere return home, ready to rebuild shattered communities, and renew the hope that young people everywhere so desperately need.”
The monarch called on the international community to work toward a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land through a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of an “independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state … living side-by-side with Israel.”