Pope warns of new 'tension' if United States embassy is moved to Jerusalem

Pope warns of new 'tension' if United States embassy is moved to Jerusalem

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.

In his general audience, Pope Francis noted how Jerusalem is a "unique city" that is considered holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Argentine pontiff called for "wisdom and prudence to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world panorama that is already unharmonious and marked by many cruel conflicts".

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 worldwide community.

Pope Francis has set himself on a new collision course with Donald Trump over the President's plans to move the US Israeli embassy.

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.

"My thought now goes to Jerusalem".

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former Vatican envoy to the Geneva, said any move away from the Status Quo in Jerusalem "could have unforeseen consequences".

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned to cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the United States recognises Jerusalem as its capital. According to the BBC, the United States would be the first nation to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel since the nation was founded in 1948.

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

The pope, who spoke to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crises on Tuesday, made his comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in the interfaith dialogue with the Vatican. Renewed conflict broke out in the Gaza Strip soon thereafter.

In addition, the pope hopes this new interreligious dialogue group can encourage the whole Palestinian society, especially Christians.

Most importantly the pope, who has recently been under scrutiny by some for not calling out the Rohingya by name during his trip and by others for not focusing enough on the persecution against Christians, stressed his commitment to fostering peace.