Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas to pray with Pope Francis in the Vatican

Published May 30th, 2014 - 02:51 GMT

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Territories President Mahmoud Abbas will pray with Pope Francis on June 8, the Vatican announced Thursday.

Pope Francis offered the unprecedented "heartfelt prayer" for peace meeting while on a three-day visit to the Middle East last weekend. Both Peres and Abbas quickly accepted.

The meeting will take place at the Vatican, and likely in the afternoon. The date "has been accepted by both sides," the Holy See announced Thursday. The meeting was scheduled so that Peres, 90, could conduct his planned retirement from public life at the end of June.

At his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis referred to Peres and Abbas as "peacemakers."

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