World

Pope urges dialogue amid Jerusalem controversy

Pope urges dialogue amid Jerusalem controversy

Palestinians and Arab leaders across the region have criticized President Trump's decision, which includes a plan to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The leader of the world's Roman Catholics is imploring President Donald Trump to not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Reuters reports.

He appealed "that everyone respects the status quo of the city", according to United Nations resolutions.

"I would like to make a heartfelt appeal for everyone's commitment to respect the city's status, in conformity with the pertinent United Nations Resolutions", he said, as quoted by the Vatican Radio, an official broadcaster.

Speaking during a weekly address in Vatican, the Pope said: "I can not keep silent on my deep concern for the situation that has been created in the past days".

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.

In his remarks, Pope Francis said the Holy Land was the "land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind".

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He added that he wishes "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".

The Vatican has long sought an internationally guaranteed status for Jerusalem that safeguards its sacred character for Jews, Muslims and Christians.

"They came to the Vatican with the intention of establishing a joint working group".

He spoke of dialogue between religions "and also in civil society".

The Pope made his comments on Wednesday during a previously scheduled meeting with a Palestinian delegation of religious and intellectual leaders. Francis, former Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II all visited Israel and Palestinian territories.

The Vatican supports a two-state solution.

The Vatican signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" the following year.


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