Pope meets Palestine’s president

Pope Francis and Palestine’s president Mahmoud Abbas, who met on Monday at the Vatican, discussed a number of topics including Christian persecution, the status of Jerusalem and a two-state solution for the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The Vatican says the good relations between the Holy See and Palestine were noted during the meeting, “as were the positive role of Christians and the activity of the Church in Palestinian society, enshrined in the Global Agreement of 2015.”

Francis and Abbas also discussed reconciliation among the Palestinian people, as well as efforts to reactivate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, and to reach a two-state solution.

They hope for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community to meet the legitimate aspirations of both peoples.

The Vatican says particular attention was reserved for the status of Jerusalem.

Francis and Abbas underlined the importance of recognising and preserving Jerusalem’s identity and the universal value of the Holy City for the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The 20-minute meeting concluded with a discussion about other conflicts afflicting the Middle East. The urgency of promoting paths of peace and dialogue, with the contribution of the religious communities, to combat every form of extremism and fundamentalism was flagged in this respect.


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