Vatican says Israeli-Palestinian peace process at risk after US move

Pope Francis with then-Israeli President Shimon Peres, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, at the Vatican in 2014. (File photo: AP)

The Vatican said on Wednesday the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians had been put at risk after the US administration said it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

“In the context of recent decisions that risk undermining further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the already fragile regional stability, the Holy See reiterates its position of a two-state solution for two peoples,” the Vatican said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announced Monday that the Trump administration no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank “inconsistent with international law.”

The Vatican said it supported the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace within the borders recognized by the international community, and that the right “must be recognized, respected and implemented.” It urged compliance with UN resolutions.

The Vatican, the government of the Roman Catholic Church, and its leader Pope Francis, have expressed disagreement with previous Trump administration decisions relating to Israeli-Palestinian issues.

When US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017, Pope Francis stated his concern over the decision and called for respect for the “status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56