Abbas Meets with Pope Francis

1:43 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the Vatican Thursday for his first meeting with Pope Francis.

The two leaders spoke for half an hour in the Pope's private library.

They talked about the peace process in the Middle East and the situation in Syria, according to a Vatican statement.

After the meeting, Abbas was joined by his delegation and the two men exchanged gifts.

Abbas said that he hoped to sign a peace treaty with Israel with the pen he received as a gift from the Pope.

He later said that he invited the Pope to visit the Holy Land.

Abbas' gift to the Pope was a ceramic panel depicting Bethlehem and a bible.

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