Pope Francis urges Trump to respect 'status quo' in Jerusalem

Wendy Jensen
December 8, 2017

"At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions", the Pope said in his weekly address, reports AFP. The Argentine pontiff called for "wisdom and prudence to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world panorama that is already unharmonious and marked by many cruel conflicts".

Pope Francis has urged U.S. President Donald Trump to respect Jerusalem's status ahead of his expected announcement to recognize the city as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

President Trump is expected to announce today that the United States recognises the city as the Israeli capital, and that the U.S. will relocate its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

In response to Trump's announcement, patriarchs and heads of all churches in Jerusalem urged Trump to reconsider his decision to relocate the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reiterating deep concerns of potentially escalating conflicts in a region sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

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Varadkar said he was "surprised and disappointed that the British government now appears not to be in a position to conclude what was agreed earlier today".

Palestinians insist there is no hope of a peace agreement unless they can use the east of the city as their capital, but the Israelis claim the whole city as their own.

Trump drew warnings from Middle Eastern and European leaders that overturning the United States' long-standing policy would further complicate peace negotiations.

"In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution", he said.

Pope Francis says the Roman Catholic Church might consider adopting a more realistic and gentle adaption of the "lead us not into temptation" lyric of the "Our Father" prayer.

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Since the early 1990s, the Vatican has seen as separate issues the need for a special status for the city and questions over the political sovereignty or control of Jerusalem.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman warned his close ally that moving the United States embassy was a "dangerous step" that could rile Muslims around the world. "We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division", the Christian leaders wrote on 6 December.

The Pope made his comments on Wednesday during a previously scheduled meeting with a Palestinian delegation of religious and intellectual leaders.

He spoke of dialogue between religions "and also in civil society".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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