Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Pope deeply worried over US embassy move to Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, Dec 6 : Global concern mounted on Wednesday ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with Pope Francis joining a list of leaders warning of the potential for dangerous fallout.
The move by Trump, set to come in a speech later Wednesday, would upend decades of careful US policy and ignore dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.
A senior administration official said Trump would make the announcement at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) from the White House.
"He will say that the United States government recognises that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality and modern reality."
Plunging further into a decades-long dispute over a city considered holy by Jews, Muslims and Christians, Trump will also order planning to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"It will take some time to find a site, to address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility and build it," the official said.
"It will be a matter of some years, it won't be months, it's going to take time."
The status of Jerusalem is a critical issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the city as their capital.
In a frantic series of calls, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the European Union, France, Germany and Turkey all warned Trump against the move.
Anticipating protests, US government officials and their families have been ordered to avoid Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank.
Further warnings from world leaders came on Wednesday.
Pope Francis is calling for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected and for "wisdom and prudence" to prevail to avoid further conflict.
Francis said he had "deep worry" about recent developments, and declared Jerusalem a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a "special vocation for peace."
"I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days," he said. He appealed "that everyone respects the status quo of the city" according to U.N. resolutions. -AFP