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Sharon Invites New Pope To Visit Israel

6 July 2005 -- Israel's ambassador to the Vatican today said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has invited Pope Benedict to visit Israel, and the pontiff responded that such a trip was a "priority."

Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur said Sharon extended the invitation in a letter presented today to Benedict by Israeli Communications Minister Dalia Itzik and Israeli Government Secretary Israel Maimon.

Ben-Hur said that when the content of the letter was explained, Benedict responded by saying in English that he would be delighted to visit Israel.