The Pope has Called for Respect for the Status quo in Jerusalem

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Pope Francis has called for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected and for "wisdom and prudence" to prevail to avoid further conflict.

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

His appeal for Jerusalem comes shortly after news came out that U.S. President Donald Trump would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - a widely controversial decision that has provoked a mixed reaction from the global community.

During his election campaign a year ago, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The pope is effectively telling the president, without naming him, not to proceed down this road, warning that it can lead to even more conflict in the Holy Land and the Middle East.

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"My thought now goes to Jerusalem".

Pope Francis has appealed to respect the "status quo" of Jerusalem in accordance "with the relevant United Nations resolutions".

The Holy See recognized the Palestinian state in 2015. In this regard, I can not remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations.

He added that Israel must not allow its own interests to "disrupt what the United Nations has repeated many times, and what has also been the logical and coherent position of the Holy See for all the past decades".

The pope, who spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crisis on Tuesday, made his comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican.

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It quickly annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital in a move which has not been recognised internationally.

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

Christians, Pope Francis said, must be aware "that each one of us is a sprout of that root", which must be cared for so that it can grow with the strength of the Holy Spirit. Renewed conflict broke out in the Gaza Strip soon thereafter.

"Along with meeting the Catholic community, I had a chance to meet Myanmar's authorities, encouraging the country's efforts for peace and hoping that all the different components of the nation, none excluded, could cooperate in such a process with mutual respect", he said.

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