Wednesday, Sept. 02
Latest News
  1. Palmyra temple destruction a 'crime against civilization'
  2. Saudi-led coalition air strikes in south Yemen kill 20
  3. Lebanon police ejecting protesters from ministry
  4. Libya car bomb wounds one, damages office of Eni firm
  5. UN envoy to meet with Libya's Tripoli parliament ahead of talks
  6. Border agency: Migrants using fake Syrian passports to enter EU
  7. Migrant trains arrive in Austria as crisis deepens
  8. Turkish court arrests British journalists on terror charges
  9. Locals: Boko Haram kills nearly 80 in NE Nigeria villages
  10. Austria smuggler crackdown as Europe divided over migrant crisis
  11. 'Largest ever' Med gas field found off Egypt
  12. Egypt muezzin suspended over 'Facebook prayer call'
  13. 3 Canadians, Pakistani, Nigerian among dead in Saudi fire
  14. 'A Sinner in Mecca' documents gay Muslim pilgrimage
  15. A year on, Yazidis so close yet so far from Iraq hub
  16. Delayed Egypt elections to start on October 17
  17. Blast at Syria's Palmyra prompts fears for famed temple
  18. 11 dead, dozens hurt in fire at Saudi oil giant housing complex
  19. Red Crescent: 7 bodies wash up on Libya beach
  20. Egypt elections to start on October 17

Abbas, Peres to plant olive tree at Vatican ceremony

June 6, 2014 9:13 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2014 3:03 P.M.)
VATICAN CITY (AFP) -- The Israeli and Palestinian presidents will plant an olive tree as a symbol of peace after an unprecedented prayer meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens on Sunday amid high tensions in the Middle East.

The Vatican said it hoped the initiative launched by Francis, which will include Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayers and music, would have an impact on public opinion but stressed it would be a purely spiritual event.

Israeli President Shimon Peres and President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive separately to be greeted by Francis at the Vatican's St Martha Residence, where he lives.

They will be joined by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, a spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world who is close to Francis.

The ceremony will begin at 1700 GMT, the Vatican said on Friday, specifying that prayers will be delivered in the chronological order of the founding of world's three main monotheistic religions: first Judaism, then Christianity and Islam.

The prayers from each of the three delegations will focus on three themes: "creation," "invocation for forgiveness," and "invocation for peace", the Vatican said.

"This is a pause from politics," said Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is organizing the event and heads up the Franciscan order in the Middle East.

"The pope wanted to look beyond, upwards. Nobody is fooling themselves that peace will break out in the Holy Land, that this will bring peace closer. But this time to stop and breathe has been absent for some time," he said.

"This will not be an inter-religious prayer. We are not holding a joint prayer, we are meeting to pray," he said.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015