Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope calls for Palestinian state in Israel

Updated at: 1511 PST, Monday, May 11, 2009.

TEL AVIV: Pope Benedict XVI has called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, immediately plunging into Middle East politics upon his arrival in Israel. That position could put him at odds with his Israeli hosts. The pope also pledged to ``honor the memory'' of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, speaking at the airport after he landed.

Benedict has had to tread carefully on his Middle East visit after coming under sharp criticism from both Muslims and Jews for past statements.

He hopes his weeklong trip to the Holy Land, which began with three days in neighboring Jordan, will improve interfaith ties.

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