Below find the statement released by the Holy See Press Office
Today, 3 December 2018, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, who subsequently met with His Excellency the Secretary for Relations with States, H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher.
During the cordial discussions, the good relations between the Holy See and Palestine were noted, as were the positive role of Christians and the activity of the Church in Palestinian society, enshrined in the Global Agreement of 2015. Attention then turned to the path of reconciliation among the Palestinian people, as well as the efforts to reactivate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, and to reach a two-state solution, hoping for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community to meet the legitimate aspirations of both peoples. Particular attention was reserved for the status of Jerusalem, underlining the importance of recognizing and preserving its identity and the universal value of the holy City for the three Abrahamic religions.
Finally, mention was made of the other conflicts afflicting the Middle East and the urgency of promoting paths of peace and dialogue, with the contribution of the religious communities, to combat every form of extremism and fundamentalism.