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Jordan calls emergency Arab League meeting on Israeli excavations in Jerusalem

Aug. 23, 2008 9:37 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2008 9:37 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - An emergency meeting has been called for the Arab League by Jordan to discuss possible measures to halt Israeli excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and building a bridge in the area of the Moroccan Gate.

The Jordanian foreign ministry contacted Israel on Thursday evening telling them about Jordan's official stance on their excavations and asked the Israeli government to stop unilateral procedures which could increase tension and impede peace efforts.

Head of the Arab and International Committee in the Jordanian parliament Dr Muhammad Abu Hdeib said on Friday "An emergency session represents a clear message to the Israelis so they might stop excavations and interfering with Islamic holy places as well as halting settlement construction and establishment of the separation wall."

Jordanian media outlets reported that foreign minister Dr Salah Addin Al-Bashir met on Thursday with several foreign officials including ambassadors of the UN permanent member countries, ambassadors of the European Union's member countries as well as Arab and Islamic ambassadors. Al-Bashir explained to all officials he met the Jordanian attitude towards Jerusalem and the necessity to protect Islamic holy places.

The minister asked the ambassadors to employ their diplomatic skills to urge Israel to abstain from unilateral procedures in Jerusalem which might change the legal situation of the holy city. He explained that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Jerusalem, and so the Jordanian government rejects all illegal Israeli procedures including building a bridge in the area of the Morrocan Gate.

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