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Crown Prince cancelled Al Aqsa visit after Israel violated arrival protocols — FM

‘Crown Prince decided to cancel trip to preserve Jerusalemites’ right to commemorate Al Israa wal Miraj freely without Israeli hindrance’

By JT - Mar 11,2021 - Last updated at Mar 11,2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi speaks during a joint press conference along with his Egyptian, French and German counterparts in Paris on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Thursday said that HRH Crown Prince Hussein had cancelled a scheduled visit to Al Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday to commemorate Al Israa wal Miraj after Israel violated arrival protocols at Al Haram Al Sharif and tried to impose complications to hinder Jerusalemites’ entry to the mosque.

In a joint press conference in Paris with his Egyptian, French and German counterparts, under the framework of the Munich Group, Safadi added that Crown Prince Hussein wanted to pay a religious visit to Al Aqsa Mosque to perform prayer at Al Israa wal Miraj night, which is a sacred occasion for all Muslims, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.  

The minister said: “We agreed with Israel on arrangements of the visit and we were surprised at the last moment that Israel wanted to impose new arrangements and change the itinerary.”

Afterwards, the Crown Prince decided not to make Jerusalemites miss the holy night and cancelled the visit to preserve their right to commemorate the religious occasion freely without any hindrance, the minister added.

He also stressed that Al Haram Al Sharif/Al Aqsa Mosque, with its total area of 144 dunums, is a place of worship for Muslims only and Israel has no sovereignty over it at all and it is within the occupied Jerusalem and, consequently, the Kingdom does not accept any intervention in its affairs. 

In this regard, Safadi pointed out that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Awqaf and Al Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department is the sole authority to administer the affairs of the awqaf.

The deputy prime minister said that efforts aiming at realising a comprehensive and just peace face the threat of these illegitimate Israeli steps that undermine all opportunities to realise peace and neglect the core base that the peace process was launched upon, which is the land-for-peace notion. 

He also added that the Palestinian issue will remain the core issue and a just peace will never be realised but through resolving the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution, international legitimacy resolutions and international law.

As for the situation in Lebanon, Safadi said that “we are following up on the hardships and challenges facing Lebanon and we are ready to help the country overcome this phase”, voicing keenness to continue supporting Beirut and sparing Lebanon further destruction that might spark “a new big reason for regional instability”. 

The minister also said that the Kingdom had welcomed the announcement of the Libyan parliament’s vote of confidence for the government, which constituted a main step towards reaching a political solution, adding that Amman will continue supporting all efforts aimed at realising such a solution that maintains Libya’s unity and coherence. 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the meeting aims at pushing the peace process forward until the establishment of the Palestinian state that lives side by side with Israel based on negotiations between the two sides.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that this meeting reflects the desire to contribute to restoring proper circumstances for a comprehensive peace in the region, noting that the dynamicity that is being built in the region since the normalisation agreements between Israel and Arab countries are “positive and contribute to regional peace and stability”. 

Germany’s top diplomat Heiko Maas highlighted the importance of unifying efforts to move forward towards realising peace at a time there are questions on the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories, which has been frozen, describing it as a positive decision, yet Israel has to stop it completely. 

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