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May 29, 2014 11:50 pm

Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas to Visit Vatican on June 8

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Vatican City. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgIsraeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will visit the Vatican on June 8.

The two leaders are scheduled to attend a prayer meeting hosted by Pope Francis that will also include a rabbi and Muslim cleric, the Vatican confirmed.

“I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer. In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace,” Pope Francis said during his recent Mideast trip.

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While the chances of a breakthrough in the peace process seem slim—with Peres’s position being largely ceremonial and the fact that he leaves office in July, and Abbas mainly focused on forming a unity government with the terrorist group Hamas—Pope Francis hopes to create new atmosphere between the leaders.

“It will be a prayer meeting. It’s not to do mediation or find solutions,” Francis told reporters on his flight home from the Holy Land on Monday. “We’ll meet just to pray, and then everyone will go home. But I think praying is important, praying together.”

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