The Vatican - Pope Francis has said he 'cannot silence' his 'deep concern' ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump in which officials said he will recognise the disputed city as Israel's capital. Trump is due on Wednesday to set in motion the relocation of the US Embassy to the Jerusalem, senior US officials said, ending decades of US policy and risking further violence in the Middle East.
In an appeal at the end of his weekly general audience, Francis called for all to honour United Nations resolutions on the city, which is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. '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. The pope told thousands of people at his general audience: 'I cannot keep quiet about my deep concern about the situation that has been created in the last few days.' He said he hoped 'wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts.'
The Argentine pontiff's call came a day after he spoke by phone with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the Vatican said without elaborating. Before making his public comments, Francis met privately with a group of Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican. 'Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims,' he said, adding that it was home to sites deemed holy by followers of the three major monotheistic faiths.(FA)