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Arab parliaments call for ending normalisation with Israel

Jordan warns against ‘fait accompli’ policy in resolving conflict

By JT - Mar 04,2019 - Last updated at Mar 04,2019

Arab parliamentary heads and delegations participate in the 29th conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Amman on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Participants at the 29th conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (APU) on Monday called for supporting Palestinians through stopping all forms of normalisation with the Israeli occupation as stipulated in relevant Arab summits’ resolutions. 

The final statement of the conference, which concluded in Amman on Monday, praised the Kingdom’s Hashemite Custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites, and His Majesty King Abdullah’s efforts in supporting the Jerusalemites’ resilience, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The statement also commended King Abdullah’s quick steps and response in stopping recurrent Israeli attacks in Jerusalem, the most recent of which was the reopening of the Bab Al Rahma (Gate of Mercy) for prayers.

Meanwhile, the Amman Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the conference, warned against the threats of the Israeli colonisation expansion on the expense of the Palestinian national soil, and rejected all attempts to impose the policy as a fait accompli, which requires more unified Arab stances to counter Israeli attempts to confiscate more Palestinian rights.

The declaration added that Jordan will continue to be at the forefront of any effort to support the central cause of Arab and Islamic nations, which is the Palestinian one, and that the Kingdom will not stop exerting any effort that can serve Palestinian interests until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty over its national soil, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The statement stressed that Jordan, based on its role as the custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, will maintain its responsibility in preserving the Holy City, which is an unaltered stance that the Kingdom will never abandon.

Participants at the conference approved a proposal by the Kuwaiti parliament to support efforts aimed at achieving Palestinian reconciliation, and adopted a recommendation to form an Arab parliamentary committee to discuss with Palestinian sides means of reconciliation and reaching an end to internal disputes.

They also highlighted the importance of sustaining support to UNRWA, to enable it to continue providing health and educational services to refugees, stressing that refugees, Jerusalem and the right of return and compensation are final-status issues in settling the Palestinian cause. 

Participants selected Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh as president of the union for the next session, and honoured the APU’s former president, Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives Ali Abdel Aal, according to Petra. 

Tarawneh said that APU members are responsible for representing the aspirations and hopes of the Arab people, and reaching solutions to current crises through initiatives that can address pending issues in cooperation with Arab decision-making institutions and international peers of joint interests. 

Also on Monday, participants at the conference delivered a letter to King Abdullah, in appreciation for his hospitality in hosting the event.

Salim Zanoun, chairman of the Palestinian National Council, called on the APU to implement practical resolutions that stress the centrality of the Palestinian issue.

In his speech, Zanoun called for countering the aggressive war of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian people and the holy sites of Jerusalem, especially Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, and for providing financial assistance to support the Jerusalemites’ resilience in their city.

Meanwhile, the APU adopted the report of its political affairs and parliamentary relations committee, which included several items related to political resolutions, and stressed its full rejection to all initiatives that do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people, formost of which is the “deal of the century”. 

The report also called for initiating an Arab boycott of the Israeli occupation and supporting the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)” international movement, as a means of countering the “sectarian policy of the occupation”. 

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