Skip to main content

Pope Francis meets with Netanyahu at Vatican

By CNN Staff
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vatican expresses hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
  • Netanyahu meets with pope at Vatican's Apostolic Palace
  • Pope expected to visit Israel, Palestinian territories next year

(CNN) -- Pope Francis and Vatican officials expressed hope that Palestinians and Israelis can forge a peace agreement "as soon as possible" as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the pontiff Monday, the Vatican said.

The meeting with Netanyahu at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace comes months ahead of Francis' anticipated trip to the Holy Land, a biblical region that includes Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu also met with the Vatican's secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin.

The discussions focused on "the complex political and social situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, expressing hope that a just and lasting solution respecting the rights of both parties may be reached as soon as possible," the Vatican said.

Pope Francis calls for big changes in Roman Catholic Church

Pope Francis is expected to visit Israel on May 25-26, an official Israeli source told CNN last month. The Vatican would not confirm the exact dates of the trip.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas invited Francis to travel to the Palestinian territories during Abbas' visit to the Vatican in October.

Pope Francis met with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Vatican in April. A Vatican communique issued after that meeting said they had discussed the hope for a speedy resumption of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, visited the Holy Land in May 2009.

PHOTOS: Pope Francis

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT