Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written to Prime Minister Liz Truss to express his ‘profound concern’ after it was announced that the PM told her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid that she is reviewing the location of the British Embassy in Israel.
The suggestion is that the review will consider moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, where almost all other countries have their embassies, to Jerusalem, a move that the Cardinal says ‘would be seriously damaging to any possibility of lasting peace in the region and to the international reputation of the United Kingdom.’
The Cardinal also adds his voice to that of Pope Francis and Christian leaders in the Holy Land, saying: 'Pope Francis and the leaders of churches in the Holy Land have long called for the international Status Quo on Jerusalem to be upheld, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. The city must be shared as a common patrimony, never becoming an exclusive monopoly of any party.'
Expressing his view that there is no valid reason to move the embassy, the Cardinal asks the Prime Minister ‘earnestly to reconsider the intention you have expressed and to focus all efforts on seeking a two-state solution, in which Jerusalem would have a guaranteed special status.’
Photo: Cardinal celebrating Mass with Christians in the Holy Land in 2014 (Mazur/CBCEW.org.uk)