France is hosting an international conference in Paris in June aimed at reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has renewed rejection of a French peace initiative, telling the visiting French prime minister that peace cannot be forged through international conferences but only through direct negotiations.
"Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences, UN-style," Netanyahu said on Monday at a press conference with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
"It doesn't get to fruition through international diktats or committees ... seeking to decide our fate and our security when they have no direct stake in it."
Unexpected meeting between Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb followed easing of tensions during reign of Benedict.
Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican in a historic encounter that was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses.
The first Vatican meeting on Monday between the leader of the world's Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths since Francis took office in 2013.
Our meeting is the message," Francis said in a brief comment at the start of
Alexander van der Bellen beats far-right leader Norbert Hofer of Freedom Party in knife-edge election.
Independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen has won Austria's presidential election after far-right leader Norbert Hofer conceded defeat.
The interior minister said on Monday that Alexander Van der Bellen won 50.3 percent of the vote in Sunday's knife-edge election, compared to 49.7 percent for Hofer, presented as the friendly and moderate face of the anti-immigration, populist Freedom Party (FPOe).
"Of course I am sad," Hofer said on Facebook as he conceded defeat. "I would have loved to have looked after this wonderful country for you
String of car bombs and suicide attacks hits hospital entrance, bus station and other places in Latakia and Jableh.
At least 148 people have been killed in multiple attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group in areas controlled by the Syrian government, a monitoring group said.
Syrian state TV also reported the attacks, putting the death toll at 78.
Simultaneous car bombs and suicide bombers hit bus stations, hospitals and elsewhere in the coastal cities of Tartus and Jableh on Monday, appearing to severely breach government defences, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human
IN A STATEMENT issued on 19 May, Harakat Ansar al-Din claimed responsibility for killing five UN peacekeepers of Chadian nationality and wounding three others in landmine and small-arms attack on their vehicle in the northeast of Mali on 18 May, AFP reported.