Arab foreign ministers discuss Jerusalem at Jordan meeting

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Arab foreign ministers met in Jordan on Saturday to discuss US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Following the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the Saudi kingdom’s stance regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine is fixed and has not changed.

He added that strong cooperation with Jordan is what confronted Iran’s interferences in the region’s affairs.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said there is no security in the region without having a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

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Safadi reiterated Jordan’s rejection of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said the Arab League will work on gaining the world’s recognition of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as the capital.

“There will be no security in the region without the two-state solution,” he also said, adding that the Arab League tasked Jordan with communicating with other states regarding the issue of Jerusalem.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who also attended the meeting, said it was a must to commit to the peace process references.

The meeting which was held in Amman included the foreign ministers of Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sparked protests in Arab and Muslim countries and was rejected in a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution.

Most contentious issue

Jerusalem’s status is among the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Safadi said Arabs have three main goals, including invalidating Trump’s decision.

“According to international law, Jerusalem is an occupied land,” he said.

Earlier Saturday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II met the Arab diplomats and said “the question of Jerusalem must be resolved within the framework of a just and lasting peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis”.

Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, and is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

The kingdom has been rocked by anti-US and anti-Israeli protests in the wake of Trump’s decision, and has accused the US president of violating international law.

- With AFP