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Middle East peace prize celebration

Southwark Cathedral has hosted a reception marking the presentation of the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation to three senior Israeli and Palestinian peace workers.

The award goes to Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Minister of the Palestinian Authority Sheikh Tal El Sider and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah.

The presentation recognises their pioneering work in drawing up the Alexandria initiati to advance dialogue between the three religions of the Middle east. It is the first such document jointly signed by the Israelis and palestinians for four years.

Present was the Archbishop of Canterbury who will be making a contribution to the peace process after his retirement as primate later this month.

The Dean of Southwark Colin Slee welcomed the guests who included; the Bishop of Coventry and the Lord Mayor of Coventry; Canon Andrew White, Director of the International Centre for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral and the Deputy Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle. .

The prize takes the form of a replica of the statue Reconciliation, depicting a kneeling man and woman hugging, which stands in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, and a framed certificate. Coventry Cathedral was destroyed by bombing in World War II and has developed a strong commitment to the struggle for peace.

Southwark Cathedral and the Council of Christians and Jews have also been involved in arranging this award ceremony.

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