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Pope Francis defends Jerusalem 'status quo'

06 December 2017

Pope Francis says he can not remain silent about a White House plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

He appealed that everyone should respect the status quo of the city, according to United Nations resolutions. 2 trip to Burma, also called Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

There is enormous tension in the Middle east with United States President Donald Trump set recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a speech.

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

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Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, whereas Israel has declared the whole city to be its "united and eternal" capital.

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. The Holy See has always been against any change in the status of Jerusalem. Our solemn advice and plea is for the U.S. to continue recognizing the present global status of Jerusalem.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, then, is likely to increase tension on the issue, particularly in regards to the 200,000-some settlements Israel has built in East Jerusalem, which are considered illegal under worldwide law, though Israel disputes this stance.

Describing the city as "holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims, who venerate the holy sites of their respective religions", the Pope said Jerusalem enjoys a unique status that should be preserved.

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Prior to his general audience, the Pope met with a Palestinian delegation of religious and intellectual leaders for a scheduled audience, urging dialogue that is respectful of everyone's rights in the Holy Land. He expressed his hope for "peace and prosperity" for the Palestinian people.

"They came to the Vatican with the intention of establishing a joint working group".

"In Dhaka we experienced a moment of strong interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, which gave me the opportunity to underline the openness of the heart as the base for the culture of encounter, for harmony and for peace", he said.

Similarly, he said his November 30-Dec.

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Pope Francis defends Jerusalem 'status quo'