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Arab leaders commend Jordan’s pro-Jerusalem stands under Hashemite custodianship

Summit says ‘Jerusalem Awqaf’ sole entity to administer Al Aqsa

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 15,2018 - Last updated at Apr 15,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah joins Arab leaders taking part in the Arab summit in Dhahran for a group photo on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

DHAHRAN — Arab leaders on Sunday commended the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah in defending Jerusalem as he performs his role as the custodian of holy places in the city.

They also voiced support for Jordan in the face of Israeli attempts to undermine such a role, according to the list of resolutions agreed on at the 29th Arab summit that concluded in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia,
on Sunday.   

In Dhahran Declaration issued following the conclusion of the highest-profile pan-Arab gathering, participants said that Jordan’s Department of Jerusalem Awqaf is the sole legal entity that runs Al Haram Al Sharif/Al Aqsa Mosque compound and conducts the needed maintenance and preservation works. They urged the international community to place pressure on Israel to end its provocative measures in Al Aqsa Mosque.

The Arab leaders agreed that the Palestinian issue remains a central issue to the Arab nation, warning against any measures to alter the legal and historic status of occupied East Jerusalem.

The Arab leaders stressed on the Arab identity of occupied East Jerusalem, which is the future capital of Palestine, saying that US President Donald Trump’s decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was void and null, according to Al Dhahran Declaration announced at the conclusion of the 29th Arab summit in Saudi Arabia.

Stressing on their commitment to peace, the Arab leaders said the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was the most comprehensive plan to address all final status issues, mainly the issue of the Palestinian refugees.

The Arab leaders said they were committed to the initiative, which offers Israel normal ties with the Arabs in return for withdrawal from territories it occupied in 1967, according to the declaration.

“We consider the US decision on Jerusalem an invalid one and we reject recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and warn against any measures that seek to change the status quo as that will lead to serious consequences on the entire Middle East,” the final statement said.

Pledging continued efforts to re-launch serious and effective peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, they said such talks need to be based on the two-state solution that leads to the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

The Arab leaders urged all countries not to relocate their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem or recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the declaration read. They also voiced rejection of all unilateral Israeli measures and the settlement activities and the confiscation of lands from Palestinians.

In their declaration, the Arab leaders expressed their strong condemnation of the firing of missiles by the Iran-backed Houthi militia against Saudi Arabia.

They also reiterated their support to the legitimate government in Yemen and to efforts to end the crisis in the country.

In the declaration, they stressed on their rejection of meddling in the internal affairs of the Arab states, condemning all attempts seeking to cause instability and incite sectarian conflicts, which is a violation of the good neighbour principle. 

They also reiterated their support for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and their efforts to protect their security and stability, calling on the international community to stiffen its sanctions against Iran and its affiliated militias, and preventing Tehran from supporting terrorist groups.

On Syria, the participants reaffirmed the need for a political solution that ends the crisis in Syria, realises the aspirations of the Syrian people and preserves the unity and territorial integrity of the country.

The Arab leaders condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against the Syrian people, urging the international community to stand firm against these practices and to enforce the relevant international law.

On Iraq, they voiced their support for efforts to preserve the stability and unity of the country.

The Arab leaders also stressed their support for the legitimate Libyan institutions and their efforts to uproot terrorism.

They also said it was vital to prevent the terrorist groups from using information technology and social media to recruit new members and spread their ideologies that tarnish the image of Islam.

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