Recognizing the Rights of All People is Important: Pope

Pacific Press  LightRocket via Getty Images

Pacific Press LightRocket via Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday held telephone talks with Pope Francis to discuss the crisis triggered by the recognition of Jerusalem by the United States as the capital of Israel, state media said.

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

Palestinians and Arab leaders across the region have criticized President Trump's decision, which includes a plan to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While he said it was hard to predict the consequences, he said he feared "we will continue to see this tragedy of violence, destruction" and the forced movement of refugees, adding that "simple people, normal families will pay the highest price".

"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". "At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions", the pope said in his weekly address.

The Holy See recognized the Palestinian state in 2015.

"I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts". The Vatican said the call with Francis was made at Abbas' initiative.

Pope Francis shakes hands with Palestinian Minister Of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash during a private meeting at the Vatican December 6, 2017.

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

In his comments to the group, Francis expressed his hope for "peace and prosperity" for the Palestinian people and called for dialogue that respects the rights of everyone in the Holy Land.

Last year, Turkey and Israel ended a rift triggered by Israel's storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead and led to a downgrading of diplomatic ties.

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