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REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
World News

US President Joe Biden visits the Church of Nativity in the West Bank

by Reuters Journalist

US President Joe Biden visited Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity on Friday to show support for Christians "who face challenges across the region," the White house said.

He met with Church leaders such as the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton and the Armenian Patriarch, Nourhan Manougian.

Palestinian Tourism minister Rula Ma'ayah welcomed the Biden and took time to explain the history of the church's 1,000-year-old mosaics.

The atmosphere that greeted Biden in the occupied West Bank was initially very different from the warm reception he received in Israel, where he was greeted as an old friend and awarded the Presidential Medal of Honour.

Earlier he promised not to give up efforts to end the decades-long Israeli Palestinian conflict, though he offered no new proposals to restart the stalled political dialogue between the two sides.

Biden acknowledged that after years of failed attempts to resolve the conflict, Palestinians living under onerous restrictions in the occupied West Bank and Gaza were suffering.

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