Pope Urges Trump Not To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Pope Urges Trump Not To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

"I can not remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has been created in the last days".

Pope Francis insisted that the status quo be "respected" in Israel by the USA government that has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital because Palestinians also claim that historic city as its capital.

Similarly, the Syrian government on Wednesday condemned Trump's decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

At the same time, the Vatican consistently has called for a special status for Jerusalem, particularly its Old City, in order to protect and guarantee access to the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Pope Francis said he could not "keep silent about my deep concern" for Jerusalem and urged respect for "the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations".

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, whereas Israel has declared the whole city to be its "united and eternal" capital.

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Emanuel, a onetime White House chief of staff under Obama, says local leaders will "make meaningful commitments" to solutions. Trump has said the accord is crippling United States business and has called for the agreement to be renegotiated.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned that Trump's expected move underlines the urgency of a new USA -led Middle East peace plan.

Francis made the appeal during his weekly audience, after speaking with the Palestinian leader and soon after meeting with a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience.

Mr Abbas is also understood to have called Pope Francis to express his concerns about the move.

In an open letter Christian leaders in Jerusalem said recognition of the city as the capital of Israel by the United States could have dire regional consequences. "We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work toward negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfil its destiny".

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had made the same promises during their campaigns, but once in office, they did not carry through with the move, citing its potential negative impact on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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