Pope Francis Calls for Two-State Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Pope Francis called for a “negotiated” two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in his annual Christmas Day address in Rome on Monday.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in the Vatican to listen to the head of the Catholic Church deliver his fifth “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world”) message in which he called for peace in Jerusalem.

“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “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.”

It was the second time the Argentine pontiff has spoken out publicly about Jerusalem since U.S. President Trump stoked regional tensions by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Francis also called for an end to conflicts in the rest of the Middle East, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Korea and Venezuela.

Francis warned the assembled faithful that “the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline.”

He also raised the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh, two countries he visited four weeks ago.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Deutsche Welle