Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican prior to attending a Middle East peace conference in Paris. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Pope Francis welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican on Saturday (January 14) ahead of Middle East peace talks due to take place in Paris. Abbas discussed the Middle East with Pope Francis and said prospects for peace there will suffer if U.S. president-elect Donald Trump moves Washington's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The Vatican reported that the talks had been cordial and that it was hoped that, with the support of the international community, measures can be taken that "favour mutual trust." After holding private talks, facilitated through interpreters, there was the traditional exchange of gifts. Abbas was in Rome to open the new embassy of the State of Palestine to the Vatican. It was the third meeting between Francis and Abbas, who last met shortly after the Vatican formalised its recognition of the Palestinian state in 2015, a move which riled Israel's government. The Pope has repeatedly called for dialogue and peace in the Middle East. Some 70 countries and organisations are due in Paris for a meeting on Sunday (January 15) that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected as "futile".