Following reports that US President Donald Trump planned to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Pope Francis expressed his concern that such a move would further destabilise the Middle East.
Pope Francis said he could not “keep silent about my deep concern” for Jerusalem and urged respect for “the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”
The pope spoke at the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesdy 6th December, the same day Trump announced his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, fulfilling a promise he made during his presidential campaign.
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.
Trump drew warnings from Middle Eastern and European leaders that overturning the United States’ long-standing policy would further complicate peace negotiations.
Picture: US President Donald Trump places a note in the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Following reports that Trump planned to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Pope Francis expressed his concern that such a move would further destabilise the Middle East. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters).