Pope Francis appears to urge Israelis and Palestinians to agree a two-state solution to conflict as he calls for a united front against 'acts of terrorism' in Christmas message
- Francis, 73, spoke to thousands inside the grand St Peter's Basilica during his only public mass over Christmas
- Argentina born Pontiff urged Christians to abandon their superficial desires and embrace the 'essential ways of life'
- Children from countries that Francis has visited as pontiff were invited to watch him speak at 16th Century church
- As the bells of the basilica rang out, Francis started the mass by unveiling and gently kissing statue of baby Jesus'
'Pope Francis used his Christmas message to urge Israelis and Palestinians to formulate a two state solution by sitting down at the negotiation table and agreeing a peace deal to allow both sides 'to live together in harmony'.
He also called for peace in a world torn apart by 'brutal acts of terrorism' while thanking the generosity of countries for showing mercy and offering shelter to desperate refugees.
Speaking from the loggia of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Francis issued a Christmas Day peace appeal Friday against poverty and extremist attacks.
He said: 'Only God's mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst.'
'Where God is born, hope is born. He brings hope. Where God is born, peace is born. And where peace is born, there is no longer room for hatred and for war.'
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Peace be with you