Pope Gives Thumbs-Down To Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan

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Pope Francis – File Pic

BARI – Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable so­lutions” to the Israeli-Palestin­ian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an ap­parent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.

Pope Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he travelled to conclude a meet­ing of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.

“The Mediterranean region is cur­rently threatened by outbreaks of insta­bility and conflict, both in the Middle East and different countries of North Af­rica, as well as between various ethnic, religious or confessional groups,” Pope Francis said.

“Nor can we overlook the still unre­solved conflict between Israelis and Pal­estinians, with the danger of inequitable solutions and, hence, a prelude to new crises,” he said.

The participants included Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whose jurisdiction includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

It was believed to be the first time the pope, who has often defended both Palestinian rights and Israel’s need for security, has spoken in public about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Trump announced the plan on Jan 28.

The plan would recognise Israel’s authority over West Bank Jewish settle­ments and require Palestinians meet a series of conditions for a state, with its capital in a West Bank village east of Je­rusalem.

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