Pope meets Jordan’s king amid rising tensions in Jerusalem
Pope Francis met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the Vatican, two weeks after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital provoked outrage in the Middle East.
According to the Vatican, “the cordial conversations focused above all on the theme of the promotion of peace and stability in the Mideast, with particular reference to the question of Jerusalem and the role of the Hashemite Sovereign (the king of Jordan) as custodian of the holy places.”
The pope welcomed the king, who was accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, in the library of the Apostolic Palace on 19th December.
King Abdullah greeted the pope as “My dear friend and brother.”
With the help of an interpreter, Pope Francis spent 20 minutes speaking alone with King Abdullah and Prince Ghazi, an adviser to the king on religious and cultural affairs. After their meeting, the king and his delegation met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister.
In a statement, the Jordanian government said the meeting “focused on the developments related to Jerusalem” as well as the “implications of the US decision and its provocation of Muslims and Christians in the region and beyond.”
Picture: Pope Francis greets Jordan’s King Abdullah II during a private meeting on 19th December at the Vatican. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).