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Palestinian leader thanks Pope for diplomatic efforts

Catholic World News - December 17, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met on December 17 with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who expressed gratitude for the Vatican’s public stand in favor of a Palestinian representation at the UN.

After the UN’s General Assembly voted to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of a non-observer member state, the Holy See issued a statement welcoming the decision and quoting Pope Benedict’s earlier remark that the “the Palestinian people have a right to a sovereign independent homeland.”

In a new statement released after the Pope’s meeting with Abbas, the Vatican voiced the hope that the UN action would “encourage the commitment of the international community to finding a fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which may be reached only by resuming negotiations between the Parties, in good faith and according due respect to the rights of both.”

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