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

Anita Tucker
December 8, 2017

Trump is undermining worldwide stability with his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the USA embassy there, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) said yesterday.

The Pope said he "cannot keep silent" over the "situation that has arisen in recent days", and called for respect for the "status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations".

In advance of US President Donald Trump's speech on Wednesday regarding the status of Jerusalem, Pope Francis said he was "profoundly concerned" about the decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The former Holy See ambassador, who now serves as advisor to the Vatican's office for Integral Human Development, endorsed the appeal made by Pope Francis earlier on Wednesday to maintain the Status Quo of Jerusalem.

Palestinians, Arab and Muslim countries warn that a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would "unleash widespread public anger" and deal a death knee to the peace process.

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.

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We ask from you, Mr President, to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which can not be reached without Jerusalem being for all.

The Argentine pontiff's call came a day after he spoke by phone with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the Vatican said without elaborating.

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

Secretary General António Guterres and Pope Francis both expressed alarm that the announcement would provoke new tensions in the Holy City, which is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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

However, a key condition for dialogue is mutual respect and a commitment to strengthen that respect "for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be", he said.

Other reports by My Hot News

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