United for Jerusalem| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 08:39 GMT

United for Jerusalem

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) Christian leaders from Jerusalem on Sunday voiced support for the Hashemite custodianship of holy Christian and Muslim shrines in the occupied city.

During a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah at the Baptism Site (Bethany beyond the Jordan) on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, Jerusalem's Christian leaders and personalities urged His Majesty to represent them in all possible international fora, including the United Nations and UNESCO, and voiced appreciation of the King's speech at the recent Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's extraordinary summit in Istanbul.

Among those attending the meeting were Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Lutheran Church Bishop of Jerusalem and Jordan Bishop Munib Yunan, member of the World Council of Churches Dima Karadsheh and Director General of Jerusalem Awqaf Department Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib.

The King meets with the Christian leaders during the festive season every year to share the joy of Christmas with them and offer his best wishes on the occasion. This year, the meeting carried added significance due to developments regarding the question of Jerusalem. Thus it was held at the Jesus Baptism Site, the closest point in the Kingdom to Jerusalem, and from where the holy city can be viewed from a distance.

The King expressed his everlasting and unwavering commitment to exercising his historic, religious and legal mandate and authority as the custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

The Hashemite role to safeguard and protect the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem goes back to the era of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, the great grandfather of the King, and cannot be ignored or violated by any power, including Israel and the US, as it has won acknowledgement and recognition by the entire international community.

The King expressed appreciation to all stakeholders for honouring this holy commitment, and above all, for observing the "Pact of Omar" that dates back to the 7th century.

The church leaders who attended the ceremony at the Baptism Site took turns in expressing their recognition and appreciation of this Hashemite status as the protector of the holy shrines in East Jerusalem, and pledged to continue cooperation with the King to this end.

This year's event at the Baptism Site earned all the more importance in view of the fact that Jerusalem and its fate has acquired the centre stage in international and regional diplomacy in the wake of US President Donald Trump's recent declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,/ and his intention to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The message of the historic and timely meeting of the King with Church leaders therefore sends a clear and loud message to President Trump as to where Muslims and Christians of Jerusalem and beyond stand on the holy city.

It is never too late for the US president to back off from his ill-conceived position on Jerusalem to save the region and the world from yet another major conflict in the Middle East.


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