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PM says action to Knesset motion on Jerusalem ‘premature’

By Khaled Neimat - Feb 16,2014 - Last updated at Feb 16,2014

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Sunday said the government would not take action for a planned motion by the Israeli lawmakers efforts to cancel Jordan’s role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, as “no official decision is made yet”.

The premier told lawmakers during a House meeting that he understands the sentiments of the deputies who demanded a firm stand by the government as the Knesset members’ move is provocative.

Too many statements about issues like these would render Jordan’s stand “meaningless”, Ensour added.

In case the Knesset endorsed such a motion, he said, this would be a breach to the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, which is an “abiding agreement”.

The issue was raised by the Palestine Committee in the Lower House, which held a press conference prior to the House meeting and issued a statement calling for cancelling the peace treaty with Israel.

The committee also called on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and call back Jordan’s envoy in Tel Aviv as a response to Knesset members attempts to deny Jordan’s custodianship over the holy sites in East Jerusalem, as stipulated in Article 9 of the peace deal.

The premier also cited the “Washington Declaration”, signed between Jordan and Israel under US sponsorship ahead of the treaty, which also stipulates that Israel acknowledges the custodian role of Jordan in Jerusalem.

The House adopted the committee’s statement, while several MPs slammed the government for not condemning the move.

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