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November 27, 2014 4:39 pm

Israeli Seeking Papal Backing for Major Regional Conference, Including Netanyahu, Abbas, Iran”

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Pope Francis at the Western Wall. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas will gather in Milan in May at a major regional health and social welfare conference hosted by Pope Francis I, if one Israeli has his way, according to an unconfirmed report on Thursday in Israel’s NRG News website.

“The goal is to organize the 43 Mediterranean countries in order to build a huge health system in the Middle East,” said Prof. Aaron Meirov, 62, a senior Israeli physician who has resided in Italy since 1991, and heads an international emergency fund.

Last weekend Meirov met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and introduced him to the program, and said he had received Papal patronage and support.

“It will be the world’s first geopolitical start-up sparking deep change that will bring about deep, dramatic dialogue via the health care system,” Meirov told NRG.

He’s setting a high bar. Meirov said he hoped to see a who’s who of regional and world leaders at the event, including Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, the presidents of Iran and Algeria, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as presidents and prime ministers from France, Germany, Italy, England and other countries.

“The Vatican has a million health contact points worldwide, including 150 thousand hospitals,” Meirov said. “Our intention is to harness this tremendous system, in collaboration with the health system in Israel, to renovate health care for all the countries in the region. This new dialogue will be different from what we have known up to now.

“The human connection can change worlds and promote peace much better than what we have tried so far,” Meirov said, optimistically.

“Before the program each state would join its health system to the collaborative medical project. Perhaps this way, we could get to the new Middle East that was talked about but never reached: a Middle East which works together on health and medicine, as well as on labor and social welfare issues,” he mused.

“We know the Jewish people serve those who need medical help and whenever necessary. Why don’t we promote this approach for the purposes of regional peace, as well Why do not we think that the health system is a new peace?” he wondered.

“This is a different perspective, one that can give hope,” Meirov concluded.

Planners want to hold the conference in Milan’s famed La Scala. During the event, participants will mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the Nazis during World War II.

“It will be the difference between the evil then and the message that we bring today,” Meirov said.

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