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Arab League values Jordan’s pro-Jerusalem efforts

By JT - Jul 27,2017 - Last updated at Jul 28,2017

Ayman Safadi

AMMAN — The Arab League on Thursday thanked Jordan for its efforts, led by His Majesty King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, to end Israeli unilateral measures in the holy city and stop the ensuing escalation.

In the final communiqué of an emergency meeting at the level of foreign ministers, held upon Jordan’s request, the league called on the UN Security Council, the international community, the US and all other concerned states and organisations to shoulder their responsibilities in preserving the status quo of the holy city. 

They decided to keep the session open to follow up on Israeli violations in Jerusalem. 

Representing Jordan,  Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi briefed Arab counterparts on King Abdullah's efforts to address the recent Israeli measures at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif. 

The briefing took place during several meetings, the first of which was with his counterparts of Algeria, Abdulqader Msahel, Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, Kuwait, Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah and Palestine, Riyad Al Maliki.

For their part, the ministers praised Jordan's efforts, under the leadership of King Abdullah, to preserve the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and in rejecting the Israeli measures that aim to change it.

Safadi also met with Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit and briefed him on the King’s efforts as the.

Aboul Gheit commended the efforts that led to restoring calm at the holy city.

The meetings came on the sidelines of an Arab League foreign ministerial meeting held at Jordan’s request.

In his speech during the meeting, the top diplomat said that Israel has cancelled its unilateral measures taken to impose new realities in Jerusalem and removed the electronic gates and cameras it had installed at the holy mosque.

The cancellation of the illegal measures came as a result of the unalterable stand and the resistance of the Palestinian people, as well as the continuous efforts and communication made by Jordan under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah in coordination with Arab countries, Safadi said.

“The crisis has reminded the world that there would be no security or stability in the Middle East without finding a fair solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the minister told his peers.

The latest crisis has been overcome, he said; however, there will always be possible crises as long as there is occupation and Israeli attempts to change the Muslim and Christian identity of the holy city, Safadi stressed.

He expressed appreciation for the US efforts to solve the crisis, commending US President Donald Trump’s commitment to ending the conflict. Jordan will support that commitment.

“Israel has to choose peace, stop its violations and participate in serious, effective and immediate negotiations with the Palestinians that should lead to implementing the two-state solution, otherwise, despair will prevail and extremism will flourish,” the foreign minister said.

“The Israeli prime minister has to realise that arrogance, breaching laws, and sophistry for personal popularity would not contribute to anything but increasing tension,” Safadi added.     

Jordan will continue tireless efforts to achieve the rights of Palestinians and protect the holy places, which are a priority for His Majesty King Abdullah, Safadi concluded.  

In remarks to the press following the ministerial meeting, Safadi stressed that Jordan has been seeking to restore calm through Israel’s commitment to its historical and legal responsibilities towards Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites.

He noted that Jordan is making tremendous efforts in cooperation with the Palestinian government aimed at restoring normalcy and cancelling the unilateral measures taken by Israel. 

Safadi called on the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, not to take advantage of the political situation to enhance his popularity by means of arrogance; otherwise, “he would be gambling his popularity at the expense of the people of the region”.

He also called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in order to prevent the region from falling into a new crisis, stressing that security comes only through guaranteeing the rights of the Palestinian people and the respect for their holy sites.

 

Safadi stressed that the escalation and tampering with holy sites is not only provocation to all Muslims, but may bring about a new wave of violence, noting that Jordan is still working for ending the escalation in order to ensure peace and safety in the region.  

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