Pope urges dialogue amid Jerusalem controversy

The pontiff added that maintaining the status quo was important "in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts".

(Vatican Radio) Ahead of an expected decision by the U.S President on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the new Israeli capital, a top Vatican official said the move will add "fuel to the fire" of conflict and instability across the Middle East.

In response to Trump's announcement, patriarchs and heads of all churches in Jerusalem urged Trump to reconsider his decision to relocate the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reiterating deep concerns of potentially escalating conflicts in a region sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

"The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind". 2 trip to Burma, also called Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

Palestinians and Arab leaders have warned the move is a threat to the Middle East peace process.

Prior to his General Audience, the Pope met with a Palestinian delegation of religious and intellectual leaders in the Vatican, in which he called for a dialogue marked by "reciprocal respect" for the rights of everyone in the Holy Land while expressing his hope for "peace and prosperity" for the Palestinian people.

The change is a recognition of "reality", officials said, both the historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish nation since ancient times and the modern reality that the city is the seat of Israel's government, housing its legislature, supreme court, prime minister, and executive agencies.

He noted how his November 27-30 visit to Burma marked the first time a pope has ever traveled to the country, which took place just months after the Holy See established full diplomatic relations with the nation in May. Moreover - similar steps could be interpreted as a clear signal for the rejection of Washington's two-state solution to the conflict in the region.

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.

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