Trump and Pope Francis at odds over Jerusalem

What happened?

Pope Francis has expressed “concern” over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump made the announcement last week, and said the US embassy would move there from Tel Aviv.

Speaking just in advance of the decision, the Pope said he could not “keep silent” and called for respect for the “status quo of the city” in accordance with UN resolutions. He said Jerusalem was “sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims”.

What local religious leaders said

The organisation of Islamic Cooperation has called an emergency summit to discuss the issue. Heads of state will be present. The Vatican, in a later statement, said the summit would be seeking “peace”.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church was also aggrieved, and responded by shunning US Vice-President Mike Pence, who requested a meeting during his visit to Cairo next week. In a statement, the Coptic Church said it “excused itself from hosting” Mr Pence, and explained that Trump’s decision “did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people”.

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