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
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0142 GMT (0942 HKT)
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 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