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Pope reaffirmed adherence to the principle of “two states” in the Middle East settlement

Pope Francis reaffirmed his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The pontiff said this during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican.

According to the press service of the Vatican, Abbas and the Pope agreed on the need to resume direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel in order to achieve a settlement based on the principle of coexistence of two states with the active assistance of the international community.

They also noted that “Jerusalem should be recognized by all as a place of unity, not conflict, and its status should preserve the identity and universal value of Jerusalem as the Holy City for all three Abrahamic religions, including through a special internationally guaranteed status.”

Both leaders also expressed the “urgent need to make efforts for peace, avoid the use of weapons and fight all forms of extremism and fundamentalism.”

During the talks, the need for peaceful coexistence of representatives of different confessions was also emphasized.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where one of the main Muslim shrines, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is located during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In 1980, Israel annexed the entire city, which has never been recognized by the international community.

The Anadolu Agency’s website publishes in a shortened form . .(HAS).