Pope urges two-state solution in meeting with Palestinian president

(Photo: Unsplash/Cole Keister)

Pope Francis has used a private audience with the President of the Palestinian Authority to reaffirm his support for a two-state solution in the Holy Land. 

The Pope met President Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican on Thursday. 

The Vatican said the talks had been "cordial" and acknowledged the "good relations" between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority. 

During the closed-door meeting, the pair discussed "bilateral issues of mutual interest", as well as peace and the need to combat "all forms of extremism and fundamentalism".

The Pope also spoke of his desire to see "direct dialogue" resume between Israel and Palestine, the Vatican said.

"In addition, the need to promote human brotherhood and peaceful coexistence among the various faiths was acknowledged," the Vatican said.

"With regard to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, it was stressed that it is absolutely necessary to reactivate direct dialogue in order to achieve a two-state solution, also with the help of more vigorous effort on the part of the international community.

"Lastly, it was reiterated that Jerusalem must be recognised by all as a place of encounter and not of conflict, and that its status must preserve its identity and universal value as a Holy City for all three Abrahamic religions, also through a special internationally guaranteed status.

"Finally, attention turned to the urgency of working for peace, avoiding the use of weapons, and combating all forms of extremism and fundamentalism."