ROME — The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, has written to Prime Minister Liz Truss urging her not to move the UK embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
In a series of social media posts this week, Cardinal Nicholls was announced had written to the Prime Minister to “express deep concern at her call for a review of the position of the British embassy in the State of Israel, with the proposal to move it away from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem”.
Such a relocation of the UK embassy would be “severely damaging” to any chance of lasting peace in the region as well as to “the UK’s international reputation”, the cardinal warned.
Nichols went on to they say that Pope Francis and church leaders in the Holy Land “have long called for the international Status Quo in Jerusalem to be respected,” according to relevant UN resolutions.
“The city must be shared as a common heritage, never becoming the exclusive monopoly of any one party,” he said.
I see “no valid reason” to consider such a move at this time, he said declare yourselfwhile he urged the prime minister “to strongly reconsider the intention she has expressed and to focus all efforts on the search for a two-state solution, in which Jerusalem will have a guaranteed special status.”
For their part, the Palestinians called the proposed embassy relocation “a flagrant violation of international law,” the BBC reported.
The Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot, tweeted that it was “extremely unfortunate” for Truss to use her first UN appearance as prime minister to “commit to a possible breach of international law”.
In December 2017, US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel and moved the US embassy there.
“I have determined that this course of action is in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said of his decision. “This is a long-term step to advance the peace process and work towards a lasting agreement.”
“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like any other sovereign nation to designate its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace,” he said.
In 2020, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked the third anniversary of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by publicly thanking Trump and posting a copy of the president’s proclamation on the cabinet wall next to a 1948 proclamation from then- President Harry. Truman recognizes the new state of Israel.
“Exactly three years ago, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the time.