Friday, November 3, 2023

Pope Francis speaks by phone with Palestinian President


A building on fire in Gaza city, November 2ndA building on fire in Gaza city, November 2nd  (AFP or licensors)

Pope speaks by phone with Palestinian President Abbas

Pope Francis holds a telephone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who thanks the Pope for his peace-building efforts and inviting him to continue pressing for a ceasefire.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis and Mahmoud Abbas spoke by telephone on Thursday in the late afternoon, Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, has told reporters.

According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Palestinian President expressed his appreciation for Pope Francis’ efforts in supporting peace-building in the region.

President Abbas then stressed the vital importance of the Vatican continuing its efforts to ensure an immediate ceasefire, stressing the need to spare civilians the horrors of war.

Mahmoud Abbas, Wafa reports, then indicated the urgency of establishing permanent humanitarian corridors for the delivery of medical and food supplies and the provision of water and electricity to Gaza.

The Pope's concerns

Since the beginning of the war on 7 October, Pope Francis has repeated his calls for peace on several occasions.

He has affirmed the need to establish an immediate ceasefire, to free the hostages in the hands of Hamas, and to allow humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

The Pope is in daily contact with the Parish of the Holy Family in Gaza, through the assistant parish priest, Father Youssef Asaad, Sister Nabila Saleh, of the Sisters of the Rosary in Jerusalem, as well as through the parish priest himself, Father Gabriel Romanelli, who is stuck in Bethlehem.

In recent days, on 22 and 26 October, he also held telephone conversations with US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during which he indicated the need to find paths to peace and discussed his hope of achieving a two-state solution with a special status for Jerusalem.

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