Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the Holy Land, peace and interfaith dialogue were the focus this afternoon's meeting between the Pope and the King Abdullah II of Jordan.
The king arrived just before 4pm and Francis welcomed him at the entrance hall on the ground floor of the Casa Santa Marta residence, where, director the Holy See Press Office Director Father Federico Lombardi, informed journalists, the meeting took place. The King was accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, in addition to an interpreter . The conversation took place "in a cordial and non-formal" atmosphere and the Pope also offered King Abdullah tea.
The king's visit lasted about
40 minutes, after which Abdullah was accompanied to the door by Pope Francis,
who waved him goodbye as the motorcade left.
"Of course, the visit took place in the context of Pope Francis' upcoming journey to the Holy Land, which first of all takes in Jordan. His Majesty had the opportunity to reaffirm the sentiments with which the people of Jordan are preparing to welcome the Pope and a greater openness to collaboration in the commitment to peace and interfaith dialogue".
Today's was the second meeting between Pope Francis and the King of Jordan , following an encounter on August 29 again at the Vatican. On that occasion the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria and the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians was underlined.