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United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
8 October 2009
UN ENVOY VISITS HARAM AL-SHARIF/TEMPLE MOUNT COMPOUND;
URGES CALM IN JERUSALEM
8 October 2009, Jerusalem
Today, UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry went to the Harem Al Sharif/Temple Mount compound as a guest of the Waqf, in a visit facilitated by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Mr. Serry subsequently conveyed his assessment of the situation to PA President Abbas, PLO Chief Negotiator Erekat and PA Prime Minister Fayyad, and to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon in a meeting this afternoon. Mr. Serry has also met senior Jordanian officials in Amman and had contact with a wide range of international diplomatic representatives in Jerusalem.
Following his visit and meetings, Mr. Serry said: “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been very concerned at the recent clashes in Jerusalem, and I have been in contact with all sides in an effort to defuse tensions. This holy city is important to both Israelis and Palestinians , and to people of three great faiths. Incitement from any quarter regarding holy sites, as well as provocative actions in East Jerusalem, do not serve the sanctity of the city or the cause of peace, and must stop.”
Mr. Serry added: “From my visit to the Al Aqsa mosque and my contacts, it is clear that the situation is not yet resolved, but tensions have eased somewhat. All I have spoken to have assured me of their desire to see calm restored, and I trust that we will see immediate practical steps of de-escalation on the ground and messages of calm and responsibility in public statements. We cannot allow a further outbreak of violence or let extremists set the agenda.”
Mr. Serry concluded: “We need an end to incitement from any quarter, as well as a cessation of provocative actions on the ground. The way forward is for the parties to implement the ir Roadmap commitments and resume final status negotiations on the basis of the 1967 lines on all core issues – including Jerusalem – in the framework of UN Security Council resolutions and previous agreements.
Only this offers a route to lasting peace for both peoples and this holy city.” For further information contact:
Richard Miron, UNSCO Chief of Public Information, 0545627825
Hayat Abu Saleh, UNSCO Media Adviser, 0546631114