Russia and the Vatican disagree with the decision of President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, Alexander Avdeyev, the Russian ambassador to the Vatican City has said.
Avdeyev recalled that Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, in one of his recent statements said that the status quo of Jerusalem, which is a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims, should be respected.
“This is a city of three Abrahamic religions and it should not be politicised by recognition as a capital.
“I draw attention to the fact that this statement was made by the Pope, who usually expresses his position very carefully in order not to offend anyone.
“So we can see a clear disagreement with the U.S. decision here. We have the similar position,” Avdeyev told Sputnik.
On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the State Department to launch the process of moving the U.S. Embassy, which is currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
The step has prompted criticism from a number of states, first and foremost Middle Eastern states and Palestine, and triggered a wave of protests in the region.
On December 7, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Jerusalem’s legal status.
The document called on UN member states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the city.
The diplomat also said that Russia and the Vatican share similar views on the world and the threats posed to it in the 21st century.
“We have much in common in our vision of the threats and dangers of the 21st century. This is an important issue that unites us.
“First of all, I speak about the threat of any terrorism, criminal, religious or separatist one. The second threat is the weakening of non-proliferation regimes.
“Of particular concern is the drug trafficking and the separation into rich and poor in the world,” Avdeyev said.
The Russian diplomat added that the two states also had a common view on the threats posed by social and economic inequality and terrorism, which were behind migration.
According to the diplomat, unregulated globalisation that was closely tied with neoliberal values could result in “a significant deformation of the civil societies.”
Avdeyev added that the two states were supportive of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and backed the negotiating process and dialogue as a path toward these goals.
The ambassador also said that the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church were concerned over the destruction of the moral and ethical values of the Christian civilisation.