"Reaching the two-state solution". "Recognizing and preserving the identity and universal value" of Jerusalem, "combating all forms of extremism and fundamentalism".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Re-launching the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians in the perspective of the realization of the two States, recognizing the universal value of Jerusalem and combating all forms of fundamentalism. These are the topics discussed today in the meeting between Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Welcomed by Francis with a hug, "the President of the State of Palestine" - as defined in a Vatican statement - also met the Secretary for Relations with States, Msgr. Paul Gallagher.
"During the cordial talks - the Vatican statement reports - the good relations between the Holy See and Palestine were noted, as were the positive role of Christians and the activity of the Church in Palestinian society, enshrined in the Global Agreement of 2015. Attention then turned to the path of reconciliation among the Palestinian people, as well as the efforts to reactivate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, and to reach a two-state solution, hoping for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community to meet the legitimate aspirations of both peoples. Particular attention was reserved for the status of Jerusalem, underlining the importance of recognizing and preserving its identity and the universal value of the holy City for the three Abrahamic religions.".
"Finally, mention was made of the other conflicts afflicting the Middle East and the urgency of promoting paths of peace and dialogue, with the contribution of the religious communities, to combat every form of extremism and fundamentalism.".
The Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, spoke of Abbas's visit to the Vatican. Interviewed by Vatican Radio Italia he said he saw in the meetings of the Palestinian President "a cry of suffering" in the face of the fact that "the so-called project of the two states is likely to gradually evaporate. It is a project - he continued - which seems to be continually eroded by the change of situation, and therefore I think that the message of President Abu Mazen is above all - I would say - a cry of suffering. It is the situation that the vast majority of Palestinians experience, who somehow feel that their dream, even of having a homeland, of having a State is not at all at hand. So, more than a kind of declaration - even to say - political - perhaps it is also a declaration of a fact, of suffering that is the suffering of an entire people ".