Pope eyes unity, not division in talks with Israel's Rivlin

Pope eyes unity, not division in talks with Israel's Rivlin

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 3, 2015 at 3:01 p.m.


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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis met Thursday with Israel's president and gave him a medallion that reads: "Look for what unites, overcome that which divides."

President Reuven Rivlin met with the pope for about 30 minutes in Francis' study Thursday.

The Vatican said the meeting, and subsequent talks with the Vatican secretary of state, focused on Mideast peace "and the need and urgency to promote a climate of trust between Israelis and Palestinians, and to restart direct negotiations to reach an agreement that is respectful of the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples."

Reporters said Francis presented Rivlin with a new bronze medallion featuring a rock split in two and held together by an olive branch emerging from the fissure. The inscription reads "Look for what unites, overcome that which divides."

Rivlin's office said the president gave Francis a stone tablet with the Aramaic inscription "House of David" — a replica of a tablet bearing the earliest known reference outside of Scripture to the House of David.

Rivlin told the pope the tablet was a "symbol of hope and living together, for all faiths."

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