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Pope meets Palestinian leader, pushes for new Israeli-Palestinian talks

October 17, 2013

Pope Francis met on October 17 with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and called for the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

A brief Vatican statement released after the “cordial” meeting expressed the hope that “the parties to the conflict will make courageous and determined decisions to promote peace.”

The statement went on to say that both the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority had grave concerns about the situation in Syria, and hoped for negotiations to end that conflict as well.

The Vatican expressed satisfaction with negotiations that are designed to produce a diplomatic agreement on the legal rights of the Church in Palestinian territory. In his discussion with Abbas (who is familiarly known as Abu Mazen), the Pope highlighted the difficulties facing Christians in the Middle East generally, and the Palestinian territories particularly.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 19, 2013 10:48 AM ET USA

    "...the Pope highlighted the difficulties facing Christians in the Middle East generally, and the Palestinian territories particularly." Yes, and the exact source of 99% of these difficulties would be...what? Surely not Israel. Why does the Bishop of Rome (and other Catholic prelates around the world)seem unable to speak clearly and openly about just who is to blame for these "difficulties"? Why is the elephant in the living room never mentioned by name?

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Oct. 18, 2013 3:36 PM ET USA

    So, the Holy Father believes that the "Palestinian Authority" is an honest broker in all of this? I know he is the representative of the prince of peace who reconciled all of humanity and God. This level of naiveté is dangerous. It is even more of a hazard for the Christian community that exists in the lands that the Palestinians claim to be "occupied" by Israel. The plight of Christians in the rest of the Muslim world sould be enough of a demonstration of this.