Abbas briefs pope on Israeli violations against Palestinians​

'We are counting on you': Abbas briefs pope on Israeli violations against Palestinians​
2 min read
04 December, 2018
The Palestinian leader thanked the Pope for his support for the Palestinian cause during a visit to the Vatican before discussing recent developments in the conflict with Italian leaders.
Pope Frances receives Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican [AP]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday to discuss the peace process in Israel-Palestine, including the status of Jerusalem and the two-state solution.

The Palestinian leader also briefed the pope on Israeli violations against Palestinians, their land and holy places, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Abbas reportedly thanked the pope for his support for the Palestinian cause, telling him "we are counting on you," according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

The Vatican recognised the state of Palestine in January 2016.

According to a Vatican statement, the two officials spoke about the importance of maintaining Jerusalem's status and identity as a holy city for three monotheistic religions.  

Read more: For real liberation, free Palestine of its third parties

They also spoke about restarting the peace process with the goal of reaching a two-state solution.

While Pope Francis and President Abbas apparently agree on these positions, both the "two-state solution" and any increased Palestinian control over parts of Jerusalem seem unlikely given the foreign policy of the current US administration.

President Donald Trump has departed from traditional US insistence on a "two-state solution" for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by leaving open the possibility of just one state.  

Early on in his administration, Trump upended decades of American policy and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a major blow for the Palestinians who have long envisaged Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Abbas reportedly gave the pope a photo of Jerusalem as a gift during his visit.

The Palestinian leader also met with the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, and Italy's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, on Monday after arriving in the Italian capital the previous day.

Agencies contributed to this report.