On Monday morning, Pope Benedict XVI received in audience Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. Mr Abbas then met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone SDB, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
In a press statement, the Holy See’s Press Office said: “the cordial discussions made reference to the recent Resolution approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations by which Palestine was recognised as a Non-member Observer State of the aforementioned Organisation. It is hoped that this initiative will encourage the commitment of the international community to finding a fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which may be reached only by resuming negotiations between the Parties, in good faith and according due respect to the rights of both."
The Press Office said Pope Benedict and Mr Abbas “then turned to the situation in the Region, troubled by numerous conflicts, in the hope that the courage for reconciliation and peace will be found. Finally, mention was made of the contribution Christian communities can offer to the common good in the Palestinian territories and throughout the Middle East.”