Rome Reports 19 Dec 2017

It’s the greeting of two long-time friends. King Abdullah II of Jordan visited Pope Francis again at the Vatican. This time, the encounter had a sole motive that concerns the Holy See as well as the Middle East – the United States’ unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“I’ve forgotten my English. I need a translator.”

Despite the gravity of the issue, the king, accompanied by his main collaborator, and the pope held a relaxed conversation. The Hashemite king even invited the Holy Father to visit Jordan again.

During the exchange of gifts, King Abdullah presented the pope with a very symbolic token – an image showing Jerusalem’s main holy places.

He also gave Pope Francis a present that brought back fond memories.

“I still remember when I went to Jordan and I remembered your father when Paul VI went there.”

For his part, the pope gave the king a plaque engraved with the words “the desert will become a garden” and the principal documents from his papacy.

Throughout the meeting, both men agreed on the importance of preserving the Holy City’s status quo as a key element for the region’s peace and stability.

The two men discuss Trump’s move