“Under my personal supervision, the Bayt Mal al-Quds al-Sharif Agency has been implementing tangible projects in the housing, health, education and social sectors for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in al-Quds,” said the Sovereign in a message addressed to Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Cheikh Niang, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, celebrated on November 29 each year.
The Agency’s work mainly aims “to preserve the cultural identity of the Holy City, improve the social and living conditions of its inhabitants and support their steadfast struggle,” added HM the King, chairman of the al-Quds Committee under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, calling for the preservation of the legal, cultural and religious status of the Holy City.
The Sovereign stressed that the Holy City, a common heritage of mankind, has always been a land of encounter and a symbol of peaceful coexistence between the followers of the three monotheistic religions.
HM the King reiterated, on this occasion, His firm and clear position regarding the justness Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in particular their right to establish their independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital – a state living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel.
The Sovereign underlined that “the Holy City of al-Quds al-Sharif holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Arab and Moslem peoples, given the spiritual and ideological symbolism of the city,” adding that it is one of the final status issues that need to be resolved through direct negotiations.
“Although urgent international crises seem to have priority on the agenda of the international community and its institutions, peace and stability in the Middle East region will hinge on resolving the issue of Palestine, the longest-lasting dispute in the world,” said HM the king.
Security and stability in that region therefore require relentless efforts to break free from the logic of conflict and embrace, instead, peace and cooperation for the emergence of a prosperous space for all the peoples concerned, added the Sovereign.
In addition, HM the king said that “the current deadlock in the political process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides does not promote the peace we are yearning for in the region,” while encouraging the “positive signs and commendable initiatives undertaken to rebuild confidence and launch meaningful negotiations that help achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions, and the two-State solution, which is a realistic option”.
Being convinced that the initiatives designed to foster prosperity in the region – as essential as they may be – will remain insufficient, given the nature of the protracted conflict, which is now threatening the future of the generations to come, the Sovereign stressed that the absence of a favorable political outlook for the Palestinian cause, coupled with the unilateral measures which undermine the prospects for peace, have allowed extremist players to continue desecrating holy sites and spreading a culture rooted in violence and hatred.
As a result, HM the king added, this conflict may well cease to be a political dispute and turn, instead, into an ideological one, with dire consequences for the entire region, calling on all Palestinian stakeholders to work as one team in order to build strong Palestinian institutions “under the leadership of my brother, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, and thus achieve the aspirations of our Palestinian brothers and sisters for freedom, independence and a life of dignity”.