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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Meets Archbishop of Canterbury
Amman, 26 January 2004

His Majesty King Abdullah II received at the Hashemite Royal Court on Monday, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who is currently on a visit to the Kingdom within a tour that will also include the Palestinian lands and Israel.

During the meeting, which was attended by Minister of the Hashemite Royal Court Sameer Rifai, The King's Advisor for Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Izzidin Al Khatib Al Tamimi, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal and the British ambassador to Jordan, the two sides discussed the current issues as well as the role that could be played by western churches to support peace in the region.

His Majesty praised the supportive stance of the archbishop of Canterbury to efforts that aim at achieving just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, affirming the importance of preserving the Arab rights in Jerusalem.

"The Arab Christian presence in the holy city is threatened due to Arabs' immigration from the city as a result of the Israeli occupation," he added, noting that "we have joint responsibility before the west to present the true image of Islamic and Christian rights in Jerusalem".

The archbishop of Canterbury for his part, valued Jordan's contributions to preserving peace, security and stability in the Middle East region.

"Jordan sets a model for others with regard to stability and coexistence between Muslims and Christians in the region," he added.

Dr. Williams said that he will raise the issue of the Christian presence in Jerusalem with officials in the west and the United States.

The archbishop is expected to meet this week with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, within efforts to push the Middle East peace process forward.