May.25 - Pope Francis arrives in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on his first trip as pontiff to the Holy Land. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Pope Francis arrived on Sunday (May 25) in the West Bank to start the most delicate part of his stay in the Middle East, with visits to the Palestinian Territories and Israel, where his every word will be scrutinized.
Church officials say his three-day tour of the region, which started on Saturday (May 24) in Jordan, is purely focused on religious issues. However, the dividing lines of the generations-old Middle East conflict will be impossible to ignore.
Francis will fly straight by helicopter to Bethlehem, becoming the first pontiff to travel directly to the West Bank rather than enter via Israel - a decision hailed by Palestinian officials as a recognition of their push for full statehood.
His trip comes at a time of renewed uncertainty, with the latest in a long line of U.S.-backed peace talks collapsing last month amid mutual recrimination and no clear ideas emerging over how to end decades of bloodshed and deadlock.
The Vatican supports the vision of an independent Palestine living in peace alongside Israel, and Francis on Saturday called for a "just solution" to the conflict - the sort of neutral, anodyne language he is expected to adhere to during the stay.
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