Pope Meets with Israeli President to Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

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The pope met with the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin.

“It is a pleasure once again to meet you.”

This is the second time in three years that the president has visited Pope Francis. The first was in 2015.

The Vatican reports issues discussed were such things as the Holy See's desire for “suitable agreements” to “be reached in relation to some issues of common interest.” For example, on the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The special status of Jerusalem, as well as “the importance of safeguarding its identity and vocation as a City of Peace,” were also explored.

The political and social situation in the Middle East was another topic. Especially pointing out “the importance of dialogue between the various religious communities in order to guarantee peaceful coexistence and stability.” They also spoke about the common effort to fight anti-semitism throughout the world.

In the exchange of gifts, the Israeli president gave Pope Francis a plaque of the city of Jerusalem, divided into its five neighborhoods. 

The pope also presented him with a plaque of a plant growing in the desert, hoping that in the desert of enmity peace can grow.

On December 30, the Holy See and the State of Israel will celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations.

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