Jordan urges world to press Israel to halt Jerusalem excavations

Other News Materials 21 August 2008 23:03 (UTC +04:00)

The Jordanian government on Thursday urged the world's major powers to put pressure on Israel to halt its excavations at the Magharebah Gate in East Jerusalem, which the Jewish state captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, dpa reported.

Foreign Minister Salah Bashir met at his office for this purpose with ambassadors of the UN Security Council's five permanent member states, European Union countries and Islamic states accredited to Jordan, according to an official statement.

"The minister asked the concerned countries to employ their ties with Israel and international forums to urge it to stop taking any unilateral measure in Jerusalem that could change its legal status, including the planned construction of a bridge at Magharebah Gate," the statement said.

Bashir said that Jordan "rejected such a unilateral step because it runs counter to the relevant UN resolutions which consider (East) Jerusalem an occupied city."

The minister told the envoys that Jordan had already contacted the Israeli government over the issue and urged a cessation of all unilateral steps in the holy city which could only "enhance tension in the region and derail peace moves."

Under the peace treaty which Jordan concluded with Israel in 1994, the Jewish state acknowledged Amman's right to look after all Islamic and Christian holy places in the holy city.