His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Sunday, April 15, delivered Jordan’s speech at the 29th Arab summit, taking place at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with the participation of Arab leaders and heads of participating Arab countries’ delegations.
Following are excerpts of the King’s speech:
“Last year, we had the honour and the responsibility of assuming the presidency of the Arab Summit. We reaffirmed the need to bolster and activate joint Arab action, and adopted comprehensive and lasting peace as a strategic Arab option in accordance with international law, relevant UN resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“During our presidency, we exerted all possible efforts, in direct, close coordination with our brethren, Arab leaders, to meet the historical challenges facing our Ummah. Working jointly, we harnessed all our capabilities and international ties in the service of the just causes of our Ummah, foremost of which are the Palestinian cause and the holy city of Jerusalem.
“We must reaffirm the eternal rights of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Christians to Jerusalem, which is the key to peace in the region and must be the cornerstone for achieving a comprehensive solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“Our Palestinian brothers seek peace, and their commitment to the two-state solution and to rejecting violence is an unequivocal testament to their unwavering commitment to peace. It is our collective duty to stand with them and to support their steadfastness in their struggle to gain their legitimate rights to independent statehood, and to living in peace and security.
“It is our duty and our shared responsibility as an Arab group, and it is the duty of the international community to provide the necessary support for Palestinian refugees, and to work towards enabling the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to continue to provide its humanitarian and social services until a fair and just solution is reached to the cause of refugees. Any obstruction of the vital services of UNRWA will negatively impact over 5 million Palestinian refugees in the region.
“The Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem is a historical duty and responsibility that we are proud to carry. We will persevere in upholding this responsibility, in coordination with our brothers at the Palestinian National Authority and with your support. And we will continue strengthening the resolve of Jerusalemites and counter any attempts to change the identity of the holy city, impose new facts on the ground, or change the historical and legal status quo.”