Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked Pope Francis for his support of the country’s new embassy to the Holy See.
“This is a sign that the pope loves the Palestinian people and loves peace,” Abbas told the pope before heading to the inauguration of the Palestinian embassy to the Holy See in Rome on 14th January.
The pope welcomed Abbas with open arms, embracing the president and saying, “It is a pleasure to welcome you here.”
“I am also happy to be here,” Abbas replied.
The Vatican said the two leaders spoke privately of the contribution of Catholics in Palestine and their “promotion of human dignity and assistance for those most in need, especially in the fields of education, health and aid.”
The pope and Abbas also discussed the peace process and expressed hope that “direct negotiations between the parties may be resumed to bring an end to the violence” and to find “a just and lasting solution.”
Picture: Pope Francis is pictured with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting at the Vatican on 14th January. (CNS photo/Giuseppe Lami, Reuters pool).