VATICAN, Thursday, November 4, 2021 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas today met Pope Francis in the Vatican.
President Abbas’s meeting with the Pontiff, which came at the end of a three-day visit to Rome, was held in the context of bilateral consultation and coordination for bringing about peace in the Holy Land and the region. It served as an opportunity to brief the spiritual leader of the Catholic church worldwide on the latest developments and the grave situation the occupied Palestinian territories are going through due to Israeli aggressive practices, notably unabated colonial settlement construction, demolitions, extra-judicial killings, forced displacement of Palestinians in addition to many unilateral actions by Israel which further undermine the two-state solution and international efforts to establish security and stability in the region.
At the outset of the meeting, President Abbas conveyed to the Pontiff the greetings of the heads of churches of Jerusalem, their wishes for health and success along with demand that the Pontiff pray for Jerusalem and peace in the Holy Land.
He also briefed him on the importance of jointly confronting the attempts to seize Palestinian property and church property, including through fraudulent sales, particularly in the Old City of Jerusalem.
He explained to the Pope the State of Palestine’s efforts to reinforce Christian presence and steadfastness in Palestine and address the challenges posed by Israel in this regard.
Following talks with the Pope, President Abbas met Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, and discussed with them the strengthening of bilateral relations based on the comprehensive agreement