The Vatican has reaffirmed its longstanding call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following a visit by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, as the U.S. says it is preparing to present its long-awaited peace plan.

Pope Francis is greeted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis is greeted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, left, meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, left, meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)

Abbas met for 20 minutes Monday with Pope Francis and then the Vatican foreign minister, Monsignor Paul Gallagher.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, is flanked by Vatican Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, as he arrives for a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, is flanked by Vatican Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, as he arrives for a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)

The Vatican said the talks focused on efforts to reactivate the peace process “and to reach a two-state solution, hoping for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community to meet the legitimate aspirations of both peoples.”

Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stand during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stand during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)

A Vatican statement said Jerusalem must remain a holy city for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis, right, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis is greeted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Pope Francis is greeted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool)

It was the first visit by Abbas since the U.S. transferred its embassy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Source: The Associated Press

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