Pope Francis meets Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican Saturday, May 16, 2015. (Alberto Pizzoli/Pool Photo via AP)
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Pope Francis meant no offense to Israel by referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as being "an angel of peace" and intended to encourage harmony between the two sides, the Vatican said on Tuesday.Francis met Abbas at the Vatican Saturday and used the words as he presented the Palestinian president with a large bronze medallion representing the angel of peace, one of his customary gifts to visiting presidents.Francis and Abbas, who met last year with former Israeli president Shimon Peres in an unprecedented inter-religious event at the Vatican, had a "very colloquial" exchange as they exchanged gifts, Lombardi said in a statement.
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