Abbas meets pope, invites him to visit the Holy Land
ReutersVATICAN CITY -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land, matching an invitation from Israel.
October 18, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
The pontiff, who has made many appeals for peace in the Middle East since his election in March, has already told Israel he will visit and is widely expected to make the trip next year.
“I invited him to the Holy Land,” Abbas said after a 30-minute private audience with the pope in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, their first meeting.
After the private part of the meeting, the pope gave Abbas a pen, telling him, “Surely, you have a lot of things you have to sign.”
Abbas responded: “I hope to sign a peace treaty with Israel with this pen.”