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  1. ITV Report

Pope Francis hails Palestinian President Abbas as 'an angel of peace'

Pope hails Palestinian President as 'angel of peace' Credit: APTN

The Pope has praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an "angel of peace" during a meeting at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See's warm relations with the Palestinians.

Pope Francis made the comment during the traditional exchange of gifts at the end of an official audience.

He presented Abbas with a medallion and explained that it represented the "angel of peace destroying the bad spirit of war."

Francis said he thought the gift was appropriate since "you are an angel of peace."

Pope hails Palestinian President as 'angel of peace' Credit: APTN

During his 2014 visit to Israel and the West Bank, Francis called both Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres men of peace.

Abbas is in Rome for the canonisation Sunday of two 19th-century nuns from what was then Ottoman-ruled Palestine.

The new saints, Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, are the first from the region to be canonised since the early days of Christianity.