Pope, UN, EU, others criticize Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as capital

Pope Francis has called for dialogue amid the ongoing tensions
Pope Francis has called for dialogue amid the ongoing tensions
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08 December, 2017

Within minutes of Mr. Trump's speech, in which he said the American Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mr. Guterres delivered what amounted to a diplomatic rebuke.

"I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations", he said at the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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.

The US president had called numerous country's allies to inform them of his decision ahead of the announcement.

Speaking before Trump's announcement, Pope Francis defended the "status quo" of Jerusalem.

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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Pope Francis has called for dialogue that respects the rights of everyone in the Holy Land and expressed his hope for "peace and prosperity" for the Palestinian people.

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

The pope, who spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crisis on Tuesday, made his comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican.

"I pray to the Lord that this identity may be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Middle East and of the entire world", Francis continued, "and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in an already convulsed worldwide panorama marked by so many cruel conflicts".

The internationally unsettled status of Jerusalem and its central importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians explains why, while recognizing the state of Israel, no nation has its embassy in the holy city. "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.


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