.- This morning Pope Benedict XVI received in audience Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), president of the Palestinian Authority. The two conducted a short dialogue regarding the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli peace process, as well as difficulties faced by Catholics in the region.
"In the course of the cordial discussions, attention turned to the situation in the Middle East. Particular appreciation was expressed for the commitment - thanks also to the help of the international community - to relaunch the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians,” a press release from the Holy See said.
The communiqué added that, “talks also dwelt upon the internal Palestinian situation with reference, among other things, to the difficulties faced by Catholics, and the value of their contribution to that society."
Following his meeting with the Holy Father, President Abbas and his entourage went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.