Rome, 6 Shafar 1434/December 19, 2012 (WAFA) – Palestinian  President Mahmoud Abbas Monday met with the Holy Father Benedict XVI in the Vatican Apostolic Palace and discussed the bilateral relations and the status quo in Palestine and the Middle East.

      Abbas briefed the pope on the conditions in the holy land and the Israeli violations of Islamic and Christian holy sites, especially in the occupied city of Jerusalem, according the Palestinian News Agency WAFA reports received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.

       Abbas also met with the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States and discussed means of developing and strengthening the bilateral relations between the state of Palestine and the Vatican.

      The cordial discussions made reference to the recent Resolution approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations by which Palestine was recognized as a Non-member Observer State of the aforementioned Organization.

       A press release by the Press Office of the Holy See said “It is hoped that this initiative 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.” 

     Earlier, Mahmoud Abbas also met with the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in the Italian capital Rome.

      Abbas and Monti discussed the bilateral relations and means of developing and strengthening these relations, the recent developments concerning the Palestinian cause and Italy’s vote in favor of the Palestinian bid to the United Nations General Assembly. (T/R-012/R-006)

 Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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