United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterating Israel’s commitment to uphold the status quo at the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General also noted Netanyahu’s affirmation that Israel does not intend to divide the holy sites, and that it “respects the importance of the special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as reflected in the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and the historical role of King Abdullah II.”
The Secretary-General also said in the statement that strengthened security arrangements between Israel and the Jordanian Waqf would help ensure visitors demonstrate restraint and respect for the sanctity of the holy site. Ban, who visited the region last week, said he hoped the renewed commitment will “put an end to the provocative rhetoric that has added to the tensions and violence over the past weeks.”
“Only by restoring calm will all parties be able to refocus their efforts on renewing confidence and creating conditions on the ground, in the region and internationally for meaningful negotiations towards a two-state solution and to put an end to the occupation that began in 1967,” he added.
He also expressed his appreciation for the discussions which led to the renewed commitment, which were held by United States Secretary of State John Kerry with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan.