Middle East/North Africa

Pope warns of ‘inequitable solutions’ after release of Trump Mideast peace plan


Pope Francis warns of “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would only lead to other problems, seemingly condemning President Trump’s proposed Mideast plan.

The pope appeared to criticize Trump’s plan proposed last month in southern Italy at a meeting for bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin, Reuters and The Associated Press reported. 

“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,” the pope said, according to Reuters.

“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.

These public comments appear to be the first the pope has made after Trump revealed the Mideast plan on Jan. 28, Reuters reported. 

The president’s proposal would give Israel authority over West Bank Jewish settlements and instruct Palestinians to meet conditions to receive a state. The plan, which favors Israel, was rejected by Palestinian and Arab League foreign ministers, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved. 

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, whose jurisdiction includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, engaged in the event, according to Reuters. 

In 2018, Pope Francis said other countries should not disrupt the “status quo” of Jerusalem after the U.S. announced it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The pope also noted in his speech that “it scares me” when he listens to speeches by populist leaders and expressed grief on how those escaping convicts and climate change consequences are “depicted as an invasion,” the AP reported.

“To be sure, acceptance and a dignified integration are stages in a process that is not easy. Yet it is unthinkable that we can address the problem by putting up walls,” he said, according to Reuters.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Israel Israeli-Palestinian conflict Middle East peace plan Palestine Pope Francis

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