Antelias (Agenzia Fides) - The choice of the US Administration to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem in Israel has "negative repercussions" on the already unstable Middle Eastern scenario, and risks jeopardizing the entire peace process. This was reiterated by Aram I, Armenian Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, during the General Assembly of the Catholicosate, held in recent days in Antelias, Lebanon. On this occasion, Catholicos Aram I also stressed the need to respect the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, and to protect the prerogatives that Judaism, Christianity and Islam exert in the Holy City.
The decision of Trump Administration's to transfer its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem has provoked negative reactions from many Patriarchs and heads of Churches and Christian communities rooted in the Middle East and the Arab countries. The Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, in a message signed by Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, recalled that "the duty of the United States of America, as a superpower, is to promote peace, justice and prosperity all over the world, and not that of provoking controversies and conflicts". Greek-Melkite Patriarch, Syrian Youssef Absi, in a conversation with the Ambassador of Palestine in Beirut wished to confirm his support and that of the Melkite Church regarding the rights of the Palestinian people and the clear rejection of the US decision to transfer to the Holy City their embassy in Israel. While Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, Primate of the most consistent Church rooted in the Muslim Arab world, has made it known that he too - like Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al Azhar - no longer intends to meet US Vice President Mike Pence, on the occasion of the next visit that Trump's deputy will carry out in Egypt and in Israel. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 11/12/2017)