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Israeli, Palestinian leaders say yes to Pope Francis' invite for joint prayers

Published on May 26, 2014 6:48 PM
 
Pope Francis (right) walks alongside Israeli President Shimon Peres during a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at Ben Gurion airport on May 25, 2014, near the Mediterranean Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv.  Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday accepted an invitation from Pope Francis to go to the Vatican for a joint prayer for peace with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas. -- PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday accepted an invitation from Pope Francis to go to the Vatican for a joint prayer for peace with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas.

"Your coming to the Holy Land is an important opportunity for joint prayer," he said.

"We will be happy to raise up prayer like this at our home, or at yours, in accordance with your generous invitation, according to your choice," Mr Peres said, turning to look directly at Francis as he spoke.

Despite expectations Pope Francis would steer clear of the thorny politics of the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Argentine pontiff had on Sunday extended a personal invitation to the two men at the end of a mass in Bethlehem.

 
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