BREAKING NEWS

A Palestinian embassy has been officially opened in the Vatican.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also had an audience with Pope Francis, with discussions on how peace can be achieved.

Abbas said he hopes the example of the Vatican is followed by others.

He said: “This embassy is a place of pride for us and we hope that all of the countries of the world recognise the State of Palestine, because this recognition will bring us closer to the peace process.”

Mahmoud Abbas also spoke out against reports that US President-elect Trump wants to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Palestinian President warned that if the idea went ahead it will not help efforts towards finding peace.

“We have heard in the media that the US administration wants to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he said.

“We hope this news is not true, because it is not encouraging and will disrupt and hinder the peace process.

“We call on President Trump, when he reaches the White House, to open a dialogue for peace between us and the Israelis and we are ready for this dialogue on the basis of international legitimacy.”

The opening of a Palestinian embassy in the Vatican comes ahead of new peace efforts, with France hosting fresh talks on Sunday among delegates from some 70 countries and organisations in Paris.

Abbas says he will attend but the Israeli Prime Minister has refused, reportedly calling the event “futile”.