Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

To smack or not to smack?

Read more

DEBATE

Soft on Smacking? France slammed for not banning corporal punishment (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

French Muslims refuse to be scapegoats for extremists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande: 'We have to tear voters away from the National Front'

Read more

FACE-OFF

French local elections: Far-right National Front in pole position

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'Citizen Four', 'The Circle' and 'Wolf Totem'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tangerine Dream: Afropolitan star Yemi Alade chats to FRANCE 24

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Islamic State group's child soldiers

Read more

Middle east

Pope announces first visit to Holy Land

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-05

Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he will visit Holy Land sites in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories from May 24-26, in what will be his first trip to the area as pontiff.

The pope will go to Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem during the visit, which will mark the 50th anniversary of a landmark trip there by Pope Paul VI in 1964, the first by a pope in modern times. Pope John Paul II visited in 2000 and Benedict XVI went in 2009.

Francis, who has made many appeals for peace in the Middle East since taking over the papacy in March, announced the trip before thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday address. He was invited by both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Many Christian Holy Land sites are found in Israel’s Galilee region but Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus, is in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in the Palestinian Territories.

The pope will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been buried, in East Jerusalem – a site that Palestinians want as part of any future state.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed direct peace negotiations in late July after three years of stalemate.

The Vatican has urged both sides to make “courageous and determined” decisions to move closer to peace, with the help of the international community.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-01-05

  • USA

    Pope Francis named TIME’s Person of the Year

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    Pope creates Vatican agency to tackle sex abuse

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Pope attacks capitalism and calls for church reform

    Read more

COMMENT(S)