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Respect status quo in Jerusalem - Pope says

Respect status quo in Jerusalem - Pope says

U.S. President Donald Trump places a note in the Western Wall in Jerusalem May 22.

(Vatican Radio) Ahead of an expected decision by the U.S President on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the new Israeli capital, a top Vatican official said the move will add "fuel to the fire" of conflict and instability across the Middle East.

"At the same time, I would like to make a heartfelt appeal for everyone's commitment to respect the city's status quo, in conformity with the pertinent United Nations Resolutions", he added.

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.

The pope has in the past been critical of some of Trump's policies.




He said he was directing the USA state department to begin preparations to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Vatican said the call with Francis was made at Abbas' initiative.

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.

He appealed "that eveyrone respects the status quo of the city", according to United Nations resolutions. The political question, it has insisted, must be the result of negotiation.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman warned his close ally that moving the United States embassy was a "dangerous step" that could rile Muslims around the world. "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.

Before the audience, Pope Francis met with religious leaders from Palestine attending a meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Pope Francis said the Catholic Church in France had made a decision to use the phrase "do not let us fall into temptation" as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.


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