Rabbi Ovadia is very important for the peace process. He has great influence not only on followers of his political party Shas, but also on the Sephardim in general, because they tend to be traditional people. Also, he has high standing among the religious because of his much acknowledged Talmudic expertise. The Ashkenazi modern religious tend to be extremists on the Territory question, and it is good to have a rabbinic authority who has the opposite opinion. Unfortunately, Rabbi Ovadia is not too diplomatic, but he has now corrected the impression he last made. May he live long.
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from the article: Ovadia Yosef atones to Mubarak after declaring Palestinians should die