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Pope calls for recognising rights of all people in Jerusalem

06 December 2017

The Pontiff made the remark ahead of an official announcement on Jerusalem by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Pope Francis said he was "profoundly concerned" and appealed for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected and for "wisdom and prudence" to prevail.

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.

In an appeal at the end of his weekly general audience, Pope Francis called for all to honor United Nations resolutions on the city, which is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

"At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions".

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The pope spoke at the end of his weekly general audience December 6, the same day President Trump was expected to announce his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, fulfilling a promise he made during his presidential campaign.

Before the audience, Pope Francis met with religious leaders from Palestine attending a meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

He said: "The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognising the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be".

Another paper, the An-Nahar, compared Trump to the late British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour who hundreds of years ago issued a public statement now known as the Balfour declaration that supported the creation a national home for the Jewish people in the territory know as Palestine.

Pope calls for recognising rights of all people in Jerusalem