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Jordan hails Russia’s stance on Palestine, calls for wider Arab-Russian cooperation

Forum renews support for Hashemite Custodianship

By JT - Apr 16,2019 - Last updated at Apr 16,2019

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi holds talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the fifth session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Moscow on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday highlighted the importance of building on the “historical” relations between the Arab region and Russia and increasing coordination towards reaching solutions for regional crises.

Speaking at the fifth session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum at the level of foreign ministers hosted by Moscow, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi praised Russia’s stance in support of the Palestinian people’s rights to freedom and statehood along the pre-1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as a capital based on the two-state solution.

Safadi warned against unilateral Israeli measures that undermine the possibility of the two-state solution and discard the “land for peace” principle, which is the basis of peace efforts, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 

In the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit and 14 Arab foreign ministers and ministers of state for foreign affairs, Safadi said that protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and maintaining their Arab identity represents a priority for Jordan, towards which it exerts “endless efforts”. 

The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is very dangerous and preventing greater deterioration to the situation to safeguard the region and the world requires intensified international efforts to combat the unilateral Israeli measures, he stressed.

The top diplomat said that the road to peace is clear as presented in the Arab Peace Initiative, which gives the most encompassing solution to realise lasting and comprehensive peace.

Safadi highlighted the importance of exerting more effective efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis and end the killing and destruction in the country.

In this regard, the minister said that there is a consensus that the solution is not a military one but one, which requires efficient action that can guarantee a political solution to the crisis that is accepted by all Syrians, can maintain the unity of the country and ensure the voluntary return of refugees, as stipulated in Resolution 2254. 

He also referred to the Rukban camp, near Jordan’s north-eastern border with Syria, saying that the Kingdom and Russia agree that the solution lies in the return of its residents to their hometowns, as they have been liberated from Daesh. 

Safadi added that there is a wide scope for increasing Arab-Russian cooperation and institutionalising communication and dialogue mechanisms, which can result in mutual benefits in the economic, investment and cultural fields, according to the statement.

The minister reiterated the importance of regional relations being based on a respect others’ sovereignty and not interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting, participants commended the Kingdom’s role in supporting the resilience of Jerusalemites and the Jordanian efforts to safeguard its holy sites, as stipulated in the agreement signed between His Majesty King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in March 2013.

They also voiced their support of the Jordanian Jerusalem Awqaf Department, in its capacity as the only legal authority accredited to supervise holy sites in the city. 

The diplomats also condemned all measures that undermine the legal status quo of the Holy City, warned against any attempts to divide Jerusalem and expressed their rejection of some countries’ decisions to move their embassies to Jerusalem. 

Meanwhile, Safadi and Lavrov held a meeting on the sidelines of the session to follow up on the discussions they held in Amman last week over developing bilateral relations and regional issues. 

The ministers highlighted the importance of sustaining consultation and coordination over regional challenges, mainly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Syrian crisis and the war on terrorism.

Safadi also held a number of meetings with participating counterparts over boosting cooperation with their respective countries and increasing coordination on regional developments.

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