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Pope Urges Trump Not To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

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"Jerusalem is a unique city", he said, "sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace".

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

"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.

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed concern about the situation regarding Jerusalem and called for the status quo there to be respected.

According to Vatican Radio, the pope received a telephone call from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Dec. 5 regarding Trump's plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

The former Holy See ambassador, who now serves as advisor to the Vatican's office for Integral Human Development, endorsed the appeal made by Pope Francis earlier on Wednesday to maintain the Status Quo of Jerusalem.

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We ask from you, Mr President, to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which can not be reached without Jerusalem being for all.

Francis said he hopes that "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.

He noted that in the United States the pope's voice "is highly respected and listened to by a lot of people, so even for a simple political calculation, it would be useful for everybody to listen to the invitation the pope directs to all parties concerned".

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

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