Pope Francis, Peres, Abbas pray for peace in Vatican City

Pope Francis and Shimon Peres in Vatican City on Sunday. Credit: GPO.

(JNS.org) Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas joined Pope Francis to pray for peace in Vatican City on Sunday.

“Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare,” Pope Francis said. “It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict.”

The 90-year-old Peres said, “I was young. Now I am old. I experienced war. I tasted peace. … And all my life I shall never stop to act for peace, for generations to come. Let’s all of us join hands and make it happen.”

“O Lord, bring comprehensive and just peace to our country and region so that our people and the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world would enjoy the fruit of peace, stability, and coexistence,” said Abbas, whose Fatah party recently formed a unity government with the terrorist group Hamas.

Abbas also took on a more political tone, emphasizing that a “just peace” would “alleviate the suffering” of the Palestinian people. 

Peres, Abbas, and the pope shook hands and planted an olive tree together at the end of the event. Additionally, Peres and Abbas met privately for about 15 minutes.

Posted on June 9, 2014 .