U.N., European Union and Pope Criticize Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

“Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” Mr. Guterres said.

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution,” he said. “There is no Plan B.”

In Rome, Pope Francis prayed that Jerusalem’s status be preserved and needless conflict avoided.

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,” Francis said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican. “And at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”

“Jerusalem is a unique city,” he said, “sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

In especially strong language, the pope added, “I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”

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Protesters burned the flags of Israel and the United States in Gaza City on Wednesday.

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Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, expressed concern about “the repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace.”

In a statement, she reiterated the bloc’s position that Jerusalem should be a future capital of two states, Israeli and Palestinian, and that embassies should not be moved there until the city’s final status was resolved. She cited a 1980 United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s attempted annexation of East Jerusalem as a violation of international law.

She called on actors in the region “to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation.”

Within a few hours of Mr. Trump’s speech, eight countries on the 15-member Security Council — including some of…

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