Pope to Receive Israeli Leader in September

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will receive Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private audience at Castel Gandolfo next month, confirmed the Holy See.

The Vatican press office reported today that the Israeli president will be received Sept. 6.

The visit will be part an official visit to Italy by Peres, the first foreign trip of the Nobel Peace Prize winner since he assumed office mid-July. He will also meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

In July the Pope invited the recently-elected president to give a decisive impulse to the peace process in the Middle East.

It was also confirmed today that the meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the state of Israel will take place Sept. 3.

This commission is seeking agreements on juridical and fiscal issues linked to the Catholic Church in Israel.