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Erdogan and Pope Francis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday was the first Turkish head of state to visit the Vatican since 1959, and given the tense relations between the Sultan wannabe from Istanbul and the Pope, some wondered how the two leaders would be able to conduct a peaceful meeting.

Turns out they had nothing to worry about, they both can’t stand the fact that Israel still insists Jerusalem is its capital, and now a US president is backing them up.

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Three years ago, in April 2015, Pope Francis and the Turkish leader were entangled in a fierce dispute over Turkey’s refusal to accept its responsibility for the 1915 Armenian genocide. Aware that conceding responsibility for the death of a million and a half innocent civilians would put modern Turkey’s Ottoman ancestors in the same category as Nazi Germany, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, Ankara denies that there even was an Armenian genocide, never mind who did it.

Pope Francis and later the European Union in 2015, the massacre’s centennial, were trying to encourage Turkey “to recognize the Armenian genocide and thus pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between Turkish and Armenian peoples.” But Erdogan dismissed the European resolution even before the vote, saying: “For us it will go in one ear and out the other. It is impossible for Turkey to accept this accusation. The stain of genocide on our nation is out of the question.”

“Despite previous clashes, the two leaders found common ground on Jerusalem,” Deutsche Welle reported.

“The status of Jerusalem is a central issue for both Muslims and Christians; both the pope and myself are committed to protecting the status quo,” Erdogan told Italian newspaper La Stampa on Sunday, adding, “No nation in the world has a right to take unilateral steps on a city which is dear to billions of people, ignoring international laws.”

Back in December, Pope Francis called for the world to honor United Nations resolutions on Jerusalem: “I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,” he said.

He told thousands of people at his general audience: “I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.”

So, to be clear, that whole Armenian genocide thing is put aside, so that everybody can concentrate on getting the Jews to give up their crazy idea about Jerusalem belonging to them.

Peace.

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