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Pope urges respect for Jerusalem status quo
06 December 2017, 08:03 | Opal Carroll
Recognizing the Rights of All People is Important: Pope
Hours before US President Donald Trump delivers a long-awaited keynote that, according to a number of analysts, will put a point on Washington's almost 70-year-old political line for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Roman Catholic Church leader said he supported the status quo in Jerusalem, AFP reports.
In response to Trump's announcement, patriarchs and heads of all churches in Jerusalem urged Trump to reconsider his decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reiterating deep concerns of potentially escalating conflicts in a region sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
Pope Francis called on President Donald Trump to respect the "status quo" and not move the USA embassy to Jerusalem.
Palestinians, Arab and Muslim countries warn that a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would "unleash widespread public anger" and deal a death knee to the peace process.
My thoughts now turn to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.
Pope Francis says he can not remain silent about a White House plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The Holy See recognized the Palestinian state in 2015.
According to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem will be discussed in the late stages of the talks.
It quickly annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital in a move which has not been recognised internationally.
The pope made the appeal during his weekly audience in Vatican city after speaking with the Palestinian leader and Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience.
He noted how his November 27-30 visit to Burma marked the first time a Pope has ever traveled to the country, which took place just months after the Holy See established full diplomatic relations with the nation in May.
In this context, Christians there are the "leaven of God", he said, and called the Church in Burma a "living and fervent" community that he had the joy of meeting and affirming in faith and communion.
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