Recognizing the Rights of All People is Important: Pope

08 December, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Angelina Schmidt

Francis 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".

US President Donald Trump will deliver his speech, expecting the US president to "recognize the reality" that Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel and to declare the move to the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv and which for decades remained a reason of contention between Israelis and Palestinians. "At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions", the pope said in his weekly address.

Pope Francis has urged U.S. President Donald Trump to respect Jerusalem's status ahead of his expected announcement to recognize the city as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

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Although the embassy move will take several years, Trump has directed the US State Department to "start the process".

"We ask you, Mr President, to help us all walk toward more love and a definitive peace, which can not be reached without Jerusalem being for all", they said.

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.

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"I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts".

Pope Francis stressed the importance of dialogue and "recognizing the rights of all people" in the Holy Land in an address to Palestinians.

Arab leaders have warned the Trump administration's decision would subvert decades of US foreign policy and risk triggering further conflicts and violence in the Middle East.

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The conversation was "part of a series of contacts made by the president of the Palestinian National Authority after his conversation with Donald Trump during which - according to Abbas' spokesman - the USA president announced his intention to move the American embassy", Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, told Vatican Radio.

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