AMMAN — Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem on Thursday commended the Hashemites’ role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem.

During a meeting with HRH Prince Ghazi, Chief Adviser to the King for Religious and Cultural Affairs and the King’s Personal Envoy, and Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa, he said the visit by Prince Ghazi and the mufti came at a time when people in Jerusalem need all the support they can get.

He added that the patriarchy supports Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Arabs and Muslims to perform pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The patriarch said that Prince Ghazi’s visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre after praying at Al Aqsa Mosque implies many meanings, most importantly the region’s history of Islamic-Christian coexistence and the Hashemites’ commitment to their responsibility to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites.

He voiced appreciation for His Majesty King Abdullah’s and Prince Ghazi’s efforts to spread the culture of tolerance and respect among followers of different religions.

The patriarch held a lunch banquet in honour of the Prince and Gomaa, according to Petra.

Prince Ghazi and the Egyptian mufti began a visit to Jerusalem on Wednesday, according to an official statement.