AB Tomasi urges USA rethink on Jerusalem as Israeli capital

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Francis said he was "profoundly concerned" about recent developments concerning Jerusalem, and declared the city a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a "special vocation for peace".

Similarly, the Syrian government on Wednesday condemned Trump's decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

"I would like to make a heartfelt appeal for everyone's commitment to respect the city's status, in conformity with the pertinent United Nations Resolutions", he said, as quoted by the Vatican Radio, an official broadcaster.

The Pope's words came ahead of an expected announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital city by establishing the American embassy to Israel there.

"Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides", Mr. Guterres said.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had made the same promises during their campaigns, but once in office, they did not carry through with the move, citing its potential negative impact on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

He appealed "that eveyrone respects the status quo of the city", according to United Nations resolutions.

Pope Francis also had a discussion, regarding the moves being made by the United States, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

He added that he wishes "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".

Francis made the appeal during his weekly audience, after speaking with the Palestinian leader and soon after meeting with a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience.

"The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind", he said.