Pope Francis receives the President of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas
On Thursday Pope Francis received in audience the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas. A statement released by the Holy See after the meeting said the two discussed the situation in the Middle East, and in particular the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. They expressed hope that the resumption of talks would bear fruit and lead to a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which started in 1946. They prayed that the two parties to the conflict may make courageous decisions with the support of the International Community in order to promote peace. They expressed concern about the situation in Syria, and called for dialogue and reconciliation. The statement notes that the two also discussed bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority and expressed satisfaction for the progress made in the elaboration of a Global Agreement on several essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine. They also examined the situation faced by Christian communities in the Palestinian Territories, and in the Middle East in general, highlighting their contribution to the common good in society.