The King of Jordan said on Tuesday that peace continues to be "elusive" in the Palestine-Israel conflict, Anadolu has reported. Abdullah II stressed the need for a two-state solution in accordance with UN resolutions.
"Neither war nor diplomacy has held the answer to this historic tragedy," the Jordanian monarch told the opening session of the 77th UN General Assembly. "It is the people themselves, not politics and politicians, who will have to come together and push their leaders to resolve this."
He asked rhetorically what the world would look like now if the conflict had been settled long ago. "If walls had never gone up and people had been allowed to build bridges of cooperation instead."
King Abdullah insisted that the only viable end to the conflict lies in the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the 1949 Armistice Lines in place on 4 June, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The state of Palestine, he said, will live side by side with Israel in "peace, security and prosperity".
Warning that "Christianity in the Holy City is in danger" and "the rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened", the monarch added that the "future of the city of Jerusalem is a source of urgent concern." Undermining the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem causes tensions at the international level and deepens religious divisions, he added.
"Based on the Hashemite guardianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, we are committed to preserving the legal and historical status quo and protecting the security and future of these holy sites. And as a Muslim leader, let me assure you clearly that we are committed to defending the rights, authentic heritage and historical identity of Christians in our region, especially in Jerusalem."
The Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem should be the capital of their independent state, based on international resolutions which do not recognise Israel's occupation of the city since 1967 or its illegal annexation in 1981.
Peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis have been suspended since 2014 due to Tel Aviv's refusal to stop building and expanding settlements, and release former prisoners who have been re-arrested. The occupation state also repudiates the two-state solution.