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Israeli, Palestinian Presidents to Pray with Pope at Vatican June 8

  • VOA News

The Vatican has set June 8 as the day Pope Francis will host the Israeli and Palestinian presidents in a prayer for peace.

Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas accepted the pope's invitation to a joint prayer meeting when Francis visited the Middle East earlier this week.

Flying back to the Vatican, Francis said the two leaders are showing the courage to move forward.

Francis, however, denies he is becoming directly involved in the Middle East peace process, telling reporters he would be "crazy" to do that.

Nine months of U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians collapsed last month.

Palestinians were angered at continued Israeli settlement activity while Israel was upset at Palestinian Authority plans to form a unity government with Hamas extremists.
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