PA thanks Pope for Catholic group’s opposition to embassy move

The Palestinian Authority Chairman thanked the Pope for a US Catholic group’s written letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing opposition to moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly thanked Pope Francis for a statement in which Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, pushed the US State Department to oppose President Donald Trump’s previously stated plan to move the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We implore you to maintain the U.S. embassy in Tel-Aviv,” Bishop Cantú wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on February 1. “Relocating the embassy to Jerusalem is tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.”

The Bishop claimed that moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem threatens the Vatican’s vision for Jerusalem’s status as a capital for all three monotheistic religions.

“The Holy See’s recent recognition of the State of Palestine promotes a two-state solution in which Jerusalem is in the words of Pope Francis ‘preserved as the capital of the three religions, as a point of reference, as a city of peace.'”

Meanwhile, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat conveyed his gratitude to Trump a few weeks ago for planning to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News