Israeli President Peres, Pope Francis and Palestinian President Abbas are pictured in the Vatican Gardens as they pray together at the Vatican
Max Rossi  /  REUTERS
(L-R) Israeli President Shimon Peres, Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are pictured in the Vatican Gardens as they pray together at the Vatican June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi
updated 6/8/2014 2:20:08 PM ET 2014-06-08T18:20:08

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday told the Israeli and Palestinian presidents that they "must respond" to their people's yearning for peace in the Middle East and find "the strength to persevere in undaunted dialogue".

The pope made his appeal to Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas at the end of an unprecedented prayer meeting among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Vatican gardens that marked the first time the two presidents have met in public in more than a year.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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