The Palestinian leader on Saturday meets with Pope Francis as he rallies international support ahead of this weekend’s Paris peace summit.
Among other things, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to raise with Francis Palestinian concern about a possible move of the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Palestinians strongly oppose the move, saying it would kill any hopes for negotiating peace and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city.
The Vatican has long sought an internationally guaranteed status for Jerusalem that safeguards its sacred character.
After the papal audience, Abbas will open an embassy of his own: The Palestinian embassy to the Holy See, fruit of recent accords in which the Vatican formally recognized the “Palestinian state.”