King to hold important talks in Washington on bilateral ties, Palestinian issue: Safadi

[10-05-2022 02:52 AM]

Ammon News -

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 United States, during which he will meet with US President Joe Biden, US officials and leaders and members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

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 United States of America as 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 United States, 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 the 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."

Safadi stressed that "ending tension begins with finding a real political horizon to return to serious and effective negotiations to achieve peace on the basis of the two-state solution."

Safadi added that "the Kingdom's work with regard to Palestine, and Jerusalem in particular, is a continuous work."

"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.

Safadi said that the whole world agrees that respecting the historical and legal status quo is the way to maintain calm, and it is an entry point to talk about the next stage, which must witness practical steps to break the deadlock in peaceful efforts and restore hope in their viability.

"What we always affirm is that the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque / Al-Haram Al-Sharif, with its entire area of ??one hundred and forty-four thousand square meters, 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 United States 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.

Responding to a question, Safadi said that the United States has a major role in any real effort to push the peace process forward.

"We are currently dealing with the status quo and frankly, what we want now is to maintain the calm, and this begins with Israel's respect for the historical and legal status quo in the holy sites, and all measures related to the holy sites must comply with international law," Safadi added.

He said, "I recall that the League of the United Nations in 1930, the Shaw Committee, affirmed that the hholy 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 the 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."

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."

He added that talks in the United States will cover "how to move towards the future and the necessary steps to ensure the restoration of confidence in the viability of the peace process."

He called for launching a "real and effective movement that protects the historical and legal status quo in the holy sites, and thus prevents the outbreak of violence, and also deals with the situation in its entirety, which includes creating a real political horizon towards fulfilling the right of the Palestinian people in their independent and sovereign state on the pre-June 4, 1967 borders, with occupied Jerusalem as its capital, to live in peace and security alongside Israel."

"The United States has a major role, as I mentioned, and we are here and the talks that His Majesty will hold will focus on how to create this horizon, which is a necessity for regional security, as well as a necessity for international peace and security," Safadi added.

Responding to a question on the refugee crisis, Safadi pointed out that Jordan is the largest refugee-hosting country in proportion to the population.

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