JERUSALEM, Saturday, September 10, 2022 (WAFA) – US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has affirmed US President Joe Biden's vision on preserving the status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem.
In an official letter sent to Patriarch Theophilos III of the Greek Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Blinken said, “Jerusalem is a rich and plural city and society, and as the President mentioned during his recent trip, Jerusalem is central to the national visions of both Palestinians and Israelis - it must be a city for all, and the status quo of its holy sites must be preserved.”
He thanked the Patriarch of Jerusalem on behalf of President Biden for his recent letter in which he expressed his concern about the ability of the Christian faithful in Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land to practice their freedom of worship.
Blinken also expressed his appreciation for the Greek Patriarch’s welcoming reception of the of US President Joe Biden at the Church of the Nativity during his visit to Bethlehem in July.
“Defending the ability of these communities to practice their rituals or beliefs is a pillar of the foreign policy of the [US] administration. We will remain committed to supporting coexistence and religious pluralism, especially in Jerusalem, which is of prime importance to the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions,” said Blinken in his letter.
In his letter, the US Secretary of State affirmed that the US would continue to condemn all acts of violence, harassment or unjustified interference in the freedom of worship.
He stressed the need for everyone in the Holy Land to be free to practice their religious beliefs in peace, security and dignity.
He noted that “promoting freedom, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians, on an equal footing, is also a key component of this administration's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“The United States, under the leadership of President Biden, believes that pushing forward with these values is an important step toward maintaining a negotiated two-state solution, on the 1967 borders with territorial amendments, agreed upon between the Israelis and Palestinians, two states living side by side in peace and security, where their peoples enjoy equal measures of freedom and dignity,” Blinken continued.
He looked forward to continuing to work with Patriarch Theophilos III on these important issues.