Respect status quo in Jerusalem - Pope says

07 Décembre, 2017, 01:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

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.

"I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations", he said at the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The decision could potentially dismantle 22 years of USA foreign policy in the Middle East and would likely enrage Muslims who view Jerusalem as the potential capital of the Palestinian state. Francis emphasized that the Vatican has long supported the Bangladeshi people's desire to be an independent nation and their will to promote religious freedom.

Pope Francis, who had returned to the Vatican late the night before after a six-day trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, also used his midday address as an opportunity to thank everyone who had prayed for the trip's success and everyone who had a hand in organizing it.

In his general audience, Pope Francis noted how Jerusalem is a "unique city" that is considered holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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Debate on the issue is in many ways the crux of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which is backed by Arab leaders, including Saudi Arabia, and the wider Islamic world.

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 worldwide community not to destabilize the current situation in Jerusalem.

The Pope made comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican.

Francis, former Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II all visited Israel and Palestinian territories.

In this context, Christians there are the "leaven of God", he said, and he 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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