RAMALLAH, Thursday, June 16, 2022 (WAFA) – Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie affirmed today her country’s support for the two-state solution and its readiness to continue its diplomatic efforts to achieve this goal.
Speaking over the telephone with Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki, Jolie expressed her country's rejection of the continued Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian land and its concerns over the escalation of violence in the past few months, especially in Jerusalem.
In turn, Al-Maliki talked about the importance of respecting the status quo in Jerusalem which was recently breached by the measures imposed by the Israeli occupation, saying these Israeli measures “create a repressive reality and undermine the Palestinian presence in the holy city, which constitutes a real obstacle to achieving the two-state solution.”
Minister Al-Maliki referred in particular to the importance of returning to the pre-2000 status quo in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as successive Israeli governments sought to gradually change the restrictions imposed on worship in Al-Aqsa Mosque over the past 22 years.
“While Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem have always been under Jordanian guardianship, the [Israeli] occupation has deliberately restricted entry of Muslim worshipers [to Al-Aqsa Mosque] while allowing extremist right-wing settlers access [to the holy site] whose rituals violate the previous status quo,” said the Foreign Minister.
Al-Maliki urged his Canadian counterpart to use her good offices to return to the status quo in Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop the Israeli provocations there, which he said could bring about a new wave of violence and instability.
Turning to Shireen Abu Akleh’s case, al-Maliki stressed the need to conduct an investigation of clear international standards into the assassination of the veteran Palestinian journalist, saying: “We will not accept a joint investigation with the occupying power, but we will be the first to support any international investigation.”
On the settlement file, he stressed the importance of taking a firm international position based on international law, as the Israeli occupation’s government continues to uphold its colonial policy which undermines the chances of establishing a viable Palestinian state.