Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pope Francis: I Cannot Hide 'My Deep Concern' Over Jerusalem

According to a senior administration official, Trump will first announce that the "United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel".

The pope said he was "profoundly concerned" about recent developments concerning Jerusalem, and declared the city a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a "special vocation for peace".

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.

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed concern about the situation regarding Jerusalem and called for the status quo there to be respected.

The pope told thousands of people at his general audience: "I can not keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days".

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 global community not to destabilize the current situation in Jerusalem.

The pontiff added that maintaining the status quo was important "in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts".

The delegation held a meeting with this dicastery in hopes of establishing a permanent working group to promote interreligious dialogue in Palestine.

"The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognising the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be", he said.

The pope, who spoke to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crises on Tuesday, made his comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in the interfaith dialogue with the Vatican. Moreover - similar steps could be interpreted as a clear signal for the rejection of Washington's two-state solution to the conflict in the region.

The Vatican and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1994.

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

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