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As you are aware, on 12 November 2014, the Kingdom of Morocco hosted the meeting of the Ministerial Contact Group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Rabat, following the Israeli incursions and attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This meeting was chaired by the Kingdom of Morocco, whose sovereign, His Majesty Mohammed VI, is president of the Al-Quds Committee.
I should be grateful if you would kindly circulate the present letter and its annex, the communiqué, as a document of the General Assembly, under items 35 and 36 of its agenda, and of the Security Council.
In response to the Israeli escalations in the City of Al-Quds and the latest unprecedented measures against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which involved the crime of closing the Mosque and denying worshippers access to pray in it, together with the storming of the Mosque by occupation soldiers and settlers,
In pursuance of the resolution of the past two sessions of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Conakry and Jeddah respectively, which adopted an Islamic action plan aimed at supporting the cause of Palestine and protecting Al-Quds Al-Sharif from the systematic Judaization policies pursued by the Israeli occupation forces to alter its Arab-Islamic character and its demographic structure and isolate it from its Palestinian milieu,
Pursuant to the recommendation of the Al-Quds Committee at its twentieth session, chaired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco and held in Marrakech on 17 and 18 January 2014, to commence arrangements, in coordination with the chairmanship of the Committee and in consultation with the chairmanship of the Summit and the State of Palestine, for urgent visits by a ministerial group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convey its message on the need to protect Al-Quds and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to the international community,
The first meeting of the OIC Ministerial Contact Group on defending the cause of Palestine and protecting the City of Al-Quds was held in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 12 November 2014. The Contact Group is chaired by the Kingdom of Morocco, whose Sovereign, His Majesty Mohammed VI, presides over the Al-Quds Committee. Other members of the Contact Group are: State of Palestine, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Guinea, Malaysia, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Azerbaijan and the OIC Secretary General.
The ministers emphasized the centrality of the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif for the Islamic ummah; that it is the cause for which OIC was established; and that the Mosque is one of the holiest places for worship in the Islamic creed. (It is the first direction for prayer, qibla, the second of two mosques, the third of the sacred mosques and the point from which the Prophet made his heavenly journey.) Aggression against the Mosque, through incursion against its compound by settlers and attempts to divide it, is a grave humiliation to the Islamic ummah and an unprecedented provocation against the sensibilities of hundreds of millions of Muslims and believers around the world.
The Ministerial Contact Group considered and approved its own plan of action on the basis of which it would convey, in an effective manner that would realize the desired objective, the message and demands of the Islamic ummah to the international community concerning the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
The ministers also approved a set of practical measures that the OIC member States would take to support the State of Palestine, strengthen the resilience of the people of Jerusalem in their city, put pressure on Israel to end the occupation of the State of Palestine, and force it not to repeat its desecration of Islamic and Christian holy sites. In that respect, the ministers extolled the important role played by the Hashemite Jordanian Kingdom in confronting those Israeli violations, in the context of the Hashemite guardianship of the Islamic and Christian holy sites, as assumed by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, and the role played by the Jordanian wagf, the administration and the maintenance of these holy sites. They reaffirmed the importance of the Contact Group underscoring this role, which has led Israel to reaffirm its respect for the status quo and the Jordanian role, as well as the importance of following up the Israeli commitment in that regard.
The ministers called on the international community to assume its responsibility to compel Israel to abide by international law and implement international legitimacy resolutions calling for the ending of the occupation that has continued for more than 47 years, 23 of which were spent on peace negotiations aborted by Israel. Twelve years have passed since the offer of the Arab Peace Initiative, on which the OIC member States pinned hope to achieve peace, security and stability in the region. Israel, however, responded to it only with further aggression, settlement, racial segregation and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.
The ministers also reiterated that East Jerusalem, under international law and international legitimacy resolutions, is an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1957 and the capital of the State of Palestine. Consequently, the measures being taken by the occupation authorities in Al-Quds, including illegal annexation, settlement, Judaization of the city, alteration of its demographic composition and distortion of the Arab and Islamic character are null and void and contrary to international law,
The ministers underlined that the Israeli occupation of Arab lands in general, its oppression of the Palestinian people, and the stealing of their land and desecration of holy sites, in particular, fuel extremism and terrorism in the region (on the principle that extremism breeds extremism). In order for the efforts to combat terrorism in the region and around the world to continue and succeed, occupation must be ended, as a basic precondition.
The ministers also called on States that have yet to recognize the State of Palestine to emulate the just and peace-encouraging decision taken by the Kingdom of Sweden through its recognition of the State of Palestine, and called on the Security Council to grant the State of Palestine full membership in the United Nations.
The Contact Group stressed its support for the move by the State of Palestine to bring about the adoption of a binding resolution on Israel to end its occupation within a specified time frame and support for the accession of the State of Palestine to all international treaties and organizations, including the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
The ministerial group commended the positions and measures taken by OIC member States in response to the latest Israeli aggression on holy sites in Al-Quds. It called on all member States to counter these crimes and attacks through all means available, in accordance with international law.
The members of the Contact Group extended deep appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, and to the Government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting and chairing the Group as an important step in the ongoing support for the cause of Palestine and the protection of Al-Quds Al-Sharif.