Pope Francis called on Tuesday for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to "resume negotiations" and "take courageous decisions", the Vatican said in a statement, after a meeting between the pontiff and Israeli president Shimon Peres.
"A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for," it said, according to the AFP news agency.
"With the courageous decisions and availability of both sides, as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached," it added.
Such an agreement should "respect the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region."
Peres and Francis expressed "worry for the conflict that plagues Syria" and hoped for a political solution to the crisis, the Vatican said.
Peres also invited Pope Francis on an official state visit to Israel.