Pope meets 'angel of peace' Abbas

2015-05-16 14:26
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vatican City - Pope Francis met Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, calling him "an angel of peace," days after the Vatican said it was preparing to sign its first accord with Palestine to the anger of Israel.

Abbas met the pontiff for about 20 minutes for a private audience, a meeting that comes a day before the pope is due to canonise two Palestinian nuns, who will become the first Palestinian Arabs to gain sainthood.

The Holy See announced on Wednesday that it was preparing to sign its first treaty with Palestine, two years after officially recognising it as a state.

A bilateral commission is putting the final touches to the agreement, on the Catholic Church's life and activities in Palestine, which then "will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a debate in the near future for the signing," the Vatican said earlier.

Some observers speculated that the agreement could be signed during Abbas's visit.

Consider next step

The news of the treaty immediately drew ire from Israel.

"Israel heard with disappointment the decision of the Holy See to agree a final formulation of an agreement with the Palestinians including the use of the term 'Palestinian State'," said an Israeli foreign ministry official.

"Such a development does not further the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct bilateral negotiations. Israel will study the agreement and consider its next step."

The agreement, 15 years in the making, expresses the Vatican's "hope for a solution to the Palestinian question and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians according to the Two-State Solution," Antoine Camilleri, the Holy See's deputy foreign minister, said in an interview earlier this week.

Read more on:    mahmud abbas  |  pope francis  |  vatican city

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.