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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King meets director general of UNESCO
Amman, 21 May 2012

© Royal Hashemite Court Archives

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday stressed that Jordan will continue its historic role in preserving and protecting the holy sites in Jerusalem.

In a meeting with Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, King Abdullah discussed Israeli unilateral measures in the Palestinian territories, especially at Jerusalem’s holy places, stressing the importance of activating international and humanitarian laws to address the Israeli measures and protect the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.

The King also highlighted the symbolic value of Jerusalem for the followers of the monotheistic and Abrahamic religions, underlying the importance of the Israeli authorities’ abidance by international law to enable Jordan to carry out its mission of preserving the Old City of Jerusalem, including maintenance works at Al Aqsa Mosque, Magharbeh Gate, the Marwani Mosque and Al Haram Al Sharif, which, he noted, are all hindered by Israel.

His Majesty expressed his deep concerns over the ongoing Israeli excavations under the Old City of Jerusalem, especially at Al Aqsa Mosque.

Turning to the role of UNESCO, the King expressed appreciation for the organisation’s efforts to safeguard global peace, achieve comprehensive development, preserve the world’s scientific, cultural and natural heritage and empowering women. He expressed Jordan’s keenness on enhancing cooperation with the international agency in various fields.

On her part, Bokova emphasised Jordan’s special and historic role in protecting Jerusalem and providing UNESCO with documented reports on the violations of international laws in the holy city.

Bokova also voiced appreciation for Jordan’s support for UNESCO’s activities, noting that the Kingdom is considered a model of development and modernisation despite its limited natural resources.

Jordan inscribed the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1981, and on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 1982.

Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Minister of Education Fayez Saudi and the King’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury attended the meeting.