His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday, April 27, reaffirmed support for the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and their efforts to preserve the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city, underscoring commitment to the Hashemite legacy of sacrifice to preserve Jerusalem’s holy sites.
Speaking at a meeting with Jerusalem church leaders at Al Husseiniya Palace, attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein Ibn Abdullah II, King Abdullah stressed the historical and religious responsibility of safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, under the Hashemite Custodianship, rejecting any compromise over Jerusalem and its holy sites.
For their part, the attendees expressed appreciation of His Majesty’s positions in defence of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and his efforts to promote interfaith harmony, reiterating their commitment to the Hashemite Custodianship and voicing best wishes to Jordanians on the occasion of their state’s centennial.
During the meeting, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa said: “It is important to reiterate the historical and actual role that the Hashemite House plays for the city of Jerusalem, as a guarantor of the equality of all its citizens, of all faiths, who have in their holy places, places of prayer, of welcome, of peaceful encounter and not a battleground.”
He added, “The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem considers Your Majesty's strong voice as a call to achieve justice and peace,” he added, noting that the King’s openness has contributed to creating a community where Christians and Muslims are partners in citizenship and destiny.
Patriarch of the Holy City and all Jordan and Palestine Patriarch Theophilos III expressed appreciation for His Majesty’s efforts to preserve the historical identity of Jerusalem and the Christian presence in it.
“Your Majesty inherits and guards the Covenant of Omar Ibn Al Khattab to our predecessor Patriarch Sophronios with its 1,400 years of guardianship of the rights of the churches,” he said.
“This is the authentic example we have been living, under the Hashemite Custodianship in Jerusalem and in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and is of great encouragement and support to us, especially at a time when the Christian presence in the Holy Land, so vital to the historic and peaceful coexistence within our region, is facing new and serious challenges,” he added.