Washington talks to find political horizon for peace — FM

As the occupying power, is responsible and legally obligated to maintain the historical and legal status quo: Safadi. (Photo: AFP)
AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on Monday underlined the importance of His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to the US, during which he will meet with US President Joe Biden, US officials, and leaders and members of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

Speaking to an interview with Sky News Arabia, Safadi said the visit is part of the continuous consultation and coordination between the Kingdom and the US, which is a strategic ally and friend of Jordan.

He added that the discussions during the visit will cover bilateral relations, “specifically the memorandum of understanding that we, and the US, are working on to sign, which frames the aid provided by the US to Jordan, in addition to regional situations, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and the situation in occupied Jerusalem.”

He said that the talks will aim to find a “real political horizon that will take us towards achieving a just and comprehensive peace, and end the catastrophic stalemate, the consequences of which have begun to clearly manifest, with more tension and violence.”

“His Majesty King Abdullah, prior to the holy month of Ramadan, led intensive efforts to maintain calm and prevent an increase in tension, and this is his way, as we have always emphasized the respect for the historical and legal status quo in the Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem,” the foreign minister explained.
Any tampering with historical status quo is playing with fire — Safadi
“What we always affirm is that the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, with its entire area of 140,000sq.m. is a pure place of worship for Muslims, and this is based on international law, and history,” Safadi noted.

Safadi warned that “any tampering with this historical status quo or any attempt to change this situation is, as we have always said, playing with fire” that will push the region towards more tension.

“The US has emphasized and demanded respect for the historical status quo, and this is part of the dialogue that we will conduct here and that His Majesty the King will speak clearly, and it is part of efforts that His Majesty has made over the past weeks and months in order to prevent the outbreak of violence that no one wants,” he said.

“I recall that the League of the United Nations in 1930, the Shaw Committee, affirmed that the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in all its area is a place of worship purely for Muslims, and Resolution 478 of the UN Security Council said that Israel’s decision to annex Jerusalem is invalid. Resolution 2334 also affirmed that occupied Jerusalem is part of the occupied Palestinian territories, and the Hague Convention of 1954 confirmed that Jordan is the responsible authority for holy sites, and the Geneva Convention of 1949, the Fourth Convention, affirmed that position as well,” Safadi said.

He added, “Therefore, any action that contradicts the historical situation or tries to impose new facts on the ground is a legally invalid decision, and a decision that has serious political and security repercussions.”

Safadi underscored the need to respect the role of the Islamic Awqaf Department in Jerusalem and the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs, which is affiliated with the Jordanian Awqaf Ministry, as the body that has the exclusive authority to manage all affairs of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.”

He said that “Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible and legally obligated to maintain the historical and legal status quo.”

“There is the UNRWA issue, which suffers from a severe lack of funding, and therefore mobilizing support for UNRWA and providing it with the necessary support to continue carrying out its tasks with regard to the Palestinian refugees is a priority for His Majesty, and that there is also the issue of Syrian refugees, about 1.3 million of them living in Jordan, and the international support for them is constantly declining,” the foreign minister said.

“What we are saying is that refugees are not the responsibility of host countries only, but rather an international responsibility and the whole world must bear this responsibility because host countries won’t be able to provide the decent life that refugees deserve,” Safadi explained.

On the Syrian crisis, Safadi said: “Unfortunately, there is still no real effort to resolve the Syrian crisis. The crisis has lasted for more than 11 years leaving millions of victims, with catastrophic consequences for the Syrian people first, and for the entire region. Consequently, what we say in Jordan is that there must be a real movement in order to push towards a political solution to the crisis, because there is no alternative to a political solution, and there must be a collective Arab role in order to reach this solution.”

He stressed that “it is unreasonable for everyone to sit at the table except for Arab countries, which are more affected by the crisis now and in the future.

Safadi explained that there is a great discussion between Arab countries and the international community to “reactivate a political effort that will lead us towards solving the Syrian crisis, so that Syria would restore its security, stability, health and role in the region, and also would create conditions that allow the voluntary return of refugees to their homeland.”

Safadi said that the decision to freeze Syria’s membership in the Arab League is an Arab League decision, and therefore the reinstatement decision is a joint Arab one, and there is no decision so far, and we are waiting for what the Arab decision will be in this regard.

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