Friday, May 22
Latest News
  1. Over 55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May
  2. President: death toll in anti-FARC air strike in Colombia rises to 26
  3. Dutch cabinet backs partial Islamic burqa ban
  4. Iran: Nuclear talks to resume Tuesday in Vienna
  5. UK's Cameron says 'confident' of securing EU reform deal
  6. Huge blasts outside Sanaa after coalition air raids
  7. Monitor: Rebels seize hospital holding 150 Syrian soldiers
  8. Blast hits Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi
  9. US envoy urges Myanmar Rohingya 'citizenship' to end exodus
  10. UN: 300-400 new cholera cases per day among Burundians in Tanzania
  11. Iraq's Sunni tribes feel deserted after Ramadi fall
  12. London cabbie bombmaker 'murdered US soldier in Iraq'
  13. US blacklists Iraqi firm helping Iran buy Airbus planes
  14. Raids hit Yemen rebels, allies ahead of new talks bid
  15. Polls open for Irish referendum on gay marriage
  16. Official: Myanmar navy carries out first rescue of migrant boat
  17. UK PM predicts 'ups and downs' in EU renegotiation bid
  18. UK's Cameron to visit Paris, Berlin for talks next week
  19. Iraqi PM in Russia urges cooperation on fighting IS
  20. Qatar hits back at Amnesty labor claims

Pope tells Abbas of hope for Mideast solution after UN vote

Dec. 17, 2012 4:03 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 6:43 P.M.)
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict told President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday the Vatican hoped the recent de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations would spur the international community to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Abbas, who is on a tour of Europe to thank countries that supported the Nov. 29 resolution by the UN General Assembly recognizing Palestine, held private talks with the pope for about 25 minutes in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

"It is hoped that (the resolution) 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," a Vatican statement said.

The 193-nation General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state," the same status as the Vatican..

The Vatican welcomed the resolution, which amounted to an implicit recognition of a Palestinian state.

But at the time the Holy See also renewed its call for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something which Israel rejects.

Israel captured East Jerusalem - along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip - in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. Israel now regards Jerusalem as its "united and eternal" capital.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a state they seek in the West Bank and Gaza and agree with the Vatican that the city needs international guarantees.

Israel has always maintained that it already guarantees Jerusalem's special nature as sacred to the three great monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The Vatican said the pope and Abbas also discussed the "situation in the region, troubled by numerous conflicts," which was seen as a clear reference to the civil war in Syria.

Abbas was also meeting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Pier Luigi Bersani, the head of the Democratic Party, which is widely expected to win national elections early next year.

Italy's center-left has traditionally supported Palestinians while the center-right has been closer to Israel.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015