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Khasawneh attends Orthodox Christmas mass in Bethlehem

By JT - Jan 07,2017 - Last updated at Jan 07,2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III (centre) leads the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank’s Bethlehem as Orthodox Christmas celebrations started on Saturday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Bisher Khasawneh on Friday night participated in the midnight mass at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, as the eastern Christian traditions began their Christmas celebrations. 

The celebrations are held according to the eastern calendar of the Roman Orthodox, Assyrian, Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox sects, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Saturday.

In a speech prior to the mass dinner, Khasawneh, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, conveyed King Abdullah’s greetings to Christians on Christmas, and His Majesty’s wishes for a year full of love and peace. 

He stressed Jordan’s desire to support Christians in Palestine, who, along with Muslims, constitute an example for coexistence and social cohesion in Palestine, the Kingdom and the wider Arab world.

Khasawneh spoke of the deep-rooted connections between the Jordanian and the Palestinian peoples, reiterating King Abdullah’s keenness, in his capacity as custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, to continue safeguarding these sanctuaries.

For his part, Abbas stressed the “solid brotherly relations” between the two countries, voicing the Palestinian people’s appreciation for Jordanian stances in defending the Palestinian cause, Petra reported.

Khasawneh also visited Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, and conveyed the King’s greeting to Christians as they celebrate Christmas, noting that they are an important component of the Middle East.


The patriarch expressed his appreciation for King Abdullah’s role and his efforts in supporting Christians in Jordan and Palestine, praising his readiness to participate in Christian occasions.

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