Pope’s Mideast Prayer Meeting Not Political Meddling
The Vatican said on Friday, Pope Francis hopes an unprecedented meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents at the Vatican on Sunday can help end “eternal negotiations” and lead to peace but he has no wish to meddle in Middle East politics. Israel’s Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will pray for peace together following a surprise invitation made by Francis during his visit to the Holy Land last month. Francis’ invitation is one of his boldest political gestures since his election March, 2013, but the Vatican has played down suggestions that the move is a bid by the pontiff to directly enter the Middle East peace process. The meeting is taking place more than a month after U.S.-led peace talks collapsed amid bitter mutual recrimination and Pizzaballa said the pope hoped the Sunday encounter could inject the leaders with a new will for peace.
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