Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed calls to ease tense situation at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque

UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Israeli foreign minister discuss relations

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, says the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque should not be compromised. Photo: Wam
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, told Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid of the importance to ease the tension around Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and avoid violating the sanctity of the place of worship.

Sheikh Abdullah, in a phone call with Mr Lapid, emphasised the need to respect the legal and historical status quo of Jerusalem and to respect Jordan’s custodianship of the holy sites under international agreements.

The royal family of Jordan oversee the holy sites in Jerusalem, the foremost of which is Al Aqsa Mosque.

The UAE minister welcomed the Israeli government's decision to prevent an 'Israeli Flags March' by far-right nationalists from reaching the Bab Al Amud area (one of the main entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City), as well as to prevent non-Muslim visitors from entering the Al Aqsa courtyards from Friday until the end of the holy month.

''Our region needs stability and to work together in order to move forward in development along all paths so as to achieve the aspirations of our peoples for progress and prosperity," Sheikh Abdullah said.

The ministers also discussed bilateral relations and co-operation between the two countries, as well as the situation in the region and the latest regional and international developments of mutual concern.

Sheikh Abdullah congratulated Mr Lapid on the occasion of Passover – the Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites.

He said he looked forward to improving joint co-operation with Israel in all areas and to work together to boost peace and stability in the region.

On Tuesday, the UAE summoned the ambassador of Israel over the tension and violence that had broken out in Jerusalem and the West Bank and informed him of the country’s strong protest against attacks on civilians and incursions into holy places.

More than 150 people were injured when Israeli security forces entered Al Aqsa on Friday and used tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades and batons against worshippers.

More violence was sparked on Sunday when police escorted a group of Jews to the site.

At least 14 Palestinians have this month been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and 14 people were killed in four attacks across Israel carried out by Palestinians from the West Bank or Arab-Israelis in recent weeks.

Al Aqsa Mosque violence – in pictures

Updated: April 21, 2022, 11:41 AM