BETHLEHEM, West Bank, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday urged visiting Pope Francis of the Vatican to help achieve a just and comprehensive peace as well as stability in the Middle East.
Abbas' appeal was made in a joint news conference with Pope Francis which was held in the West Bank city of Bethlehem after their one-hour meeting.
"We count on your efforts to help our people getting their rights and we welcome any initiative you would take to make peace real in the holy land and help our people live in peace and stability in their homeland," said Abbas.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis said that it is time to end the conflicts in the Middle East that led to tragic consequences, pains and wounds bound with a ligature.
The Pope called on the parties in the Middle East to double their efforts and increase their initiatives "to achieve peace and find a solution that helps everyone to live a better life without pain."
Pope Francis arrived by helicopter in Bethlehem early Sunday morning after visiting Jordan. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, together with other officials and Christian and Muslim notables received Pope Francis in the city.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered in streets of the city and at the yard of the Church of Nativity to join a prayer that the Pope is scheduled to make.