Pope accepts invitation to Jerusalem

By Elliot Miller, June 11, 2013
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The new Pope Francis has accepted an invitation from Israeli President Shimon Peres to visit Jersualem. Both of the Pope’s direct predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, visited the holy city, the latter in 2009.

"I am expecting you in Jerusalem, not just me but the whole country of Israel," Mr Peres told the Pope in the presence of reporters after 30 minutes of private talks in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on April 30.

During the meeting at the Vatican, the two discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The new pontiff had appealed for peace in the Middle East in an Easter Speech.

According to Haaretz, the two men discussed hopes for a speedy resumption of peace negotiations and a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

A Vatican statement said they discussed prospects for a resumption of negotiations for a solution that would respect "the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region".

Last updated: 11:23am, June 11 2013