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Pope Francis Calls for Respect of 'Status-quo' in Jerusalem, Warns of Inflaming World Conflicts

Francis said he hoped wisdom and prudence would prevail in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama already convulsed and marked by so many cruel conflicts

Pope Francis (L) shaking hands with Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, December 6, 2017 at the Vatican
Pope Francis (L) shaking hands with Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, December 6, 2017 at the Vatican AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE

Pope Francis, speaking hours before U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, on Wednesday called for respect of the "status quo" of the city, saying new tension in the Middle East would just further enflame world conflicts.

In an appeal made at the end of his weekly general audience, Francis also called for all to honour U.N. resolutions on the city, which is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, saying he is very worried about the latest developments regarding the Jerusalem issue.

Francis met with Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, during an audience with participants in the meeting of the Standing Committee for Dialogue with Religious personalities of Palestine.

Pope calls for "wisdom and prudence" on Jerusalem issue Haaretz/Reuters

Francis said he hoped wisdom and prudence would prevail in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama already convulsed and marked by so many cruel conflicts.

Trump is due on Wednesday to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and set in motion the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to the ancient city, senior U.S. officials said, a decision that upends decades of U.S. policy and risks fuelling violence in the Middle East.