As terror attacks continue around the world, former President Shimon Peres met with Pope Francis in Rome.
The Pope greeted Peres with a warm embrace, kissed his hands and said, "I am excited and grateful that you came to see me here in the Vatican. Together we can champion peace, and can put a stop to the bloodshed and hatred and terror in the name of religion".
Francis then added: "You and I see eye to eye on many things. I firmly believe that we must promote peace and morality, livelihood and harmony for the younger generation. No one has the right to kill anyone or take a life in the name of G-d and religion."
Peres thanked the Pope and said: "Unfortunately, since our last meeting on the lawns of the Vatican, much blood has been spilled in our region and in streets around the world. We are witnessing increased terrorist acts against innocent people, the use of the name of G-d for terrorist fanatics to murder and kill. We cannot remain indifferent to tens of thousands of refugees, victims and children who have been wounded and have lost family members and their homes. We have a moral obligation to our children to stop the hatred and bloodshed."
During the meeting, the two leaders called on all religious leaders around the world to work together, and agreed that the sanctity of human life and moral values must stand at the forefront of every leader's actions. Peres took the Pope's hands and said: "The world is blessed that your voice is strong; people listen to you; you bring hope that they can achieve their dreams. Continue using your voice to champion peace and to bring the world to a better place.
The two specifically discussed the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, as Peres said: "To my sorrow, there have not yet been direct negotiations with the Palestinians, and at this moment there are mutual accusations between the two sides. There is no alternative but to return to the table – direct action to promote peace cannot be postponed, and connections between Israeli and Palestinian children are imperative, as they will eventually live here together. The solution is clear – there must be two states for two peoples."
Later in the meeting, which lasted for over an hour, Peres told the Pope about the Peres Center for Peace in Israel, which works in medicine and healthcare, education and business on both sides as well as the Palestinian Authority and said: "Over the past two decades we have saved the lives of twelve thousand children through life-saving procedures, we have trained Palestinian doctors, and we have brought together thousands of children, Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, every year to learn together utilizing advanced technology. You can promote programs in the Middle East to bring communities out of poverty, to provide access to technology, and to improve the economic future for the younger generation."
The Pope and Peres spoke about advancing science, technology and education in areas of conflict, such as Africa and the Middle East, and the influence of social networks and Facebook for younger generations around the world, and agreed on a common course of action to promote dialogue and peace among the millions of young people around the world through Facebook and social networking tools to inspire the younger generation.