The pontiff and Recep Tayyip Erdogan also both underlined the significance of mutual efforts to protect the status quo of Jerusalem -- sacred to Islam, Christianity and Judaism -- said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis also urged a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called for Jerusalem’s status quo to be respected to prevent further conflict.
“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” he told tens of thousands of people from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in a Christmas address.
U.S. President Donald Trump's Dec. 6 announcement of the change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem sparked worldwide criticism.
On Dec. 21, the UN General Assembly overwhelming adopted a Turkish-sponsored resolution rejecting Trump’s move by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions.