News Worms
News Worms

Pope Francis appeals to respect Jerusalem's 'status quo'

Pope Francis appeals to respect Jerusalem's 'status quo'

He said he hoped "wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts".

Pope Francis stressed the importance of dialogue and "recognizing the rights of all people" in the Holy Land in an address to Palestinians.

Francis made the appeal during his weekly audience, hours before the expected announcement that the U.S. is to recognise the city as Israel's capital.

"I pray to God that this identity is preserved and reinforced, for the sake of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail", he said.

Pope Francis met with a Palestinian delegation in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

When Francis visited the Holy Land in 2014, he flew directly by helicopter from Jordan to what the Vatican programme called the "State of Palestine" and visited Israel last.

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 US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump will make the announcement in a speech Wednesday - which will be closely watched by other world leaders who fear the move will undermine peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and spark protests across the Middle East.

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

Pope Francis made foreign politics the focus of his weekly general audience, pinpointing the highlights of his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh and calling on the worldwide community not to destabilize the current situation in Jerusalem.

The Vatican and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1994.

"I wished, also in this case, to express Christ's and the Church's closeness to a people that have suffered due to conflicts and repressions and are now slowly moving toward a new condition of freedom and peace", Francis said.

The Holy See recognised the Palestinian state in 2015. 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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