Jordan's King Abdullah agrees with Biden on need to defuse Jerusalem tension - state media

Jordan and fellow Arab states accused Israel in a meeting on Thursday in Amman of restricting the right of worship of Muslims.

JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH II speaks after being welcomed by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the US Capitol in Washington earlier this month. (photo credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)
JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH II speaks after being welcomed by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the US Capitol in Washington earlier this month.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)

Jordan's King Abdullah agreed with US President Joe Biden on the need to prevent a repeat of recent confrontations in Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites that sparked concerns of wider conflict, state media said.

In a phone call on Monday, Abdullah was quoted as saying the cornerstone of peace was a comprehensive Arab Israeli settlement based on a two-state solution whereby a Palestinian state would emerge alongside Israel.

The two leaders discussed recent efforts to stop violence in Israel and the West Bank, including at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, the White House said on Monday.

Biden gave his appreciation to Abdullah for the steps taken to ease the tension, and expressed his hope that the final week of Ramadan will pass peacefully, the White House added.

"Both his Majesty and President Biden stressed the importance of continued coordination and work on all levels to prevent a repeat of attacks on the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites and its people that would derail the chances of achieving peace and push towards more tensions," Petra state news agency said.

 People gather around the Dome of the Rock, in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City October 28, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD) People gather around the Dome of the Rock, in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City October 28, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

Abdullah, whose Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of Muslim and Christian sites in the Old City, has spearheaded a diplomatic offensive to put pressure on Israel, whom he blames for the escalation at the Aqsa compound.

The confrontations since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that have coincided with Passover have raised religious passions amid international concerns about a slide back into a wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jordan and fellow Arab states accused Israel in a meeting on Thursday in Amman of restricting the right of worship of Muslims while allowing ultra-nationalist Jews under police protection to enter the mosque compound.

“There is no change in the status quo,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s spokesman Matan Sidi said. “There is continuity from the last government in the [current] government’s policy on the Temple Mount.”

Israel has taken steps to de-escalate the situation by forbidding Jews from visiting the Temple Mount during the last ten days of Ramadan, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said Monday.