Pope urges respect for Jerusalem 'status quo'

Pope urges respect for Jerusalem 'status quo'

The pontiff has called for the "status quo" to be respected, after Mr Trump indicated the embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem.

Francis said he was "profoundly concerned" about recent developments concerning Jerusalem, and declared the city a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a "special vocation for peace". "I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts".

President Trump will reportedly announce Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the State Department will initiate a process to move the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump stated, on Tuesday, that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but did not mention whether the Middle Eastern country's USA embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to the "new" lead city. numerous speculative reports suggest that the American head of state will establish Jerusalem's only embassy.

Palestinians and Arab leaders have warned the move is a threat to the Middle East peace process.

"I can not silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days".

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While West Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's government, Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Francis, former Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II all visited Israel and Palestinian territories.

He added that Israel must not allow its own interests to "disrupt what the United Nations has repeated many times, and what has also been the logical and coherent position of the Holy See for all the past decades".

The pope made the appeal during his weekly audience in Vatican city after speaking with the Palestinian leader and Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, then, is likely to increase tension on the issue, particularly in regards to the 200,000-some settlements Israel has built in East Jerusalem, which are considered illegal under global law, though Israel disputes this stance.

"They came to the Vatican with the intention of establishing a joint working group". He expressed his hope for "peace and prosperity" for the Palestinian people.

"The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind", he said. 2 visit to Bangladesh was equally important, and focused largely on the need for "respect and dialogue" between Christianity and Islam, as the country is a majority Muslim nation with a small Catholic community.

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