VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict told Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas on Monday the Vatican hoped the recent de facto recognition of
Palestinian statehood at the United Nations would spur the international
community to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Abbas, who is
on a tour of Europe to thank countries that supported the Nov. 29 resolution by
the UN General Assembly recognizing Palestine, held private talks with the
pope for about 25 minutes in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.
"It is hoped
that (the resolution) will encourage the commitment of the international
community to finding a fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, which may be reached only by resuming negotiations between the
parties, in good faith and according due respect to the rights of both," a
Vatican statement said.