"Pope Francis stressed the need to preserve the historical and legal status quo of Jerusalem, which is a holy city to the three divine religions. He also expressed a need, most importantly, to preserve constructive dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians, especially these days, in which the Holy Land has witnessed rising tensions. At his yearly meeting with the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Vatican, Pope Francis shared the Holy See's positions and vision of international issues.
He also expressed his pain at the loss of innocent lives in recent incidents, and renewed his call to weigh all acts with judgement so as to avoid increasing tension. He appealed to all to respect the resolutions of the United Nations and to preserve the status quo of Jerusalem."
– Radio Bethlehem 2000
0202 Editor's Note:
For the full text of the Pope's speech at the meeting, as released by the Vatican, see: https://goo.gl/J3K4kL.
Speaking about the conflict, the Pope said, "I think in particular of Israelis and Palestinians, in the wake of the tensions of recent weeks. The Holy See, while expressing sorrow for the loss of life in recent clashes, renews its pressing appeal that every initiative be carefully weighed so as to avoid exacerbating hostilities, and calls for a common commitment to respect, in conformity with the relevant United Nations Resolutions, the status quo of Jerusalem, a city sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims. Seventy years of confrontation make more urgent than ever the need for a political solution that allows the presence in the region of two independent states within internationally recognized borders. Despite the difficulties, a willingness to engage in dialogue and to resume negotiations remains the clearest way to achieving at last a peaceful coexistence between the two peoples."
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