.- Catholics in Palestine were the topic of conversation this morning between Pope Benedict and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Holy Father met with Abbas at the Apostolic Palace, where they discussed the Pope's recent trip to the Holy Land, the situation in the region and the importance of finding a "lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Solving the long running dispute requires that "the rights of everyone are respected and recognized," the two leaders agreed. In particular, "emphasis was given to the importance of co-operation and mutual respect between the parties involved, and of the support of the international community," the Vatican said.
The plight of Catholics, who have been fleeing persecution and the unstable situation in Palestine and throughout the Holy Land, was addressed as well. Finally, the contribution that Christians make to the social life and to peaceful coexistence among peoples was noted.