The Turkish embassy in Amman confirmed yesterday its support for Jordan’s role in protecting the holy sites in Palestine.
The embassy said in a statement that it views recent commentary on the custodianship of the holy sites in Jerusalem as “speculative in nature, perhaps intended to diffuse attention away from annexation plans which are in violation of international law”, in reference to Israel’s plans to seize 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank.
“Turkey strongly supports Jordan’s role in the custodianship of those holy sites. We believe that Jordan discharges this responsibility in a satisfactory manner,” it added.
Israel plans to annex nearly 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem on 1 July.
In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a peace deal known as the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty giving Jordan the right to supervise holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Earlier this week Israeli media reported that Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabia have engaged in secret meetings since December regarding including Saudi representatives in the Jordanian run Islamic Waqf Council at the Al-Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem.
They added that the Jordanians reached out to Israel and the US and said it had softened their position regarding Saudi representation to counter the increased Turkish influence.