Turkey’s Erdoğan, Pope Francis hail UN Jerusalem vote in phone call
In a telephone conversation on Dec. 29, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Pope Francis both hailed last week’s U.N. resolution rejecting the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to sources from the presidency.
The pontiff and Erdoğan both underlined the significance of mutual efforts to protect the status quo of Jerusalem, which is sacred to Islam, Christianity and Judaism, the sources said.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis urged a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called for Jerusalem’s status quo to be respected in order to prevent further conflict.
“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” the Pope told tens of thousands of people from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in a Christmas address.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement of the change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem sparked worldwide criticism.
On Dec. 21, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelming adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Turkey rejecting Trump’s move by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions.