Sheikh Nahyan affirms UAE's position on Jerusalem

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Sheikh Nahyan affirms UAEs position on Jerusalem
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan speaks during opening of 4th Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies . - KT photo By Ryan Lim

Abu Dhabi - Supporting the rights of the Palestinian people is a firm policy of the UAE

By Jasmine Al Kuttab

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Published: Mon 11 Dec 2017, 8:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Dec 2017, 10:10 PM

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, has reaffirmed the UAE's firm stance on the Arab identity of Jerusalem, considered as a core element in the Middle East peace process.
Sheikh Nahyan made his remarks during a speech at the 4th Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, which opened on Monday.
The minister went on to say that the UAE will continue to support the Arab identity of Jerusalem and its legal status, in accordance with international laws and conventions, as well as continuing to support the rights of the Palestinian people.
He described the issue of Jerusalem as being the main guarantor of stability in the region, and as representing the essence of the peace process.
"Supporting the rights of the Palestinian people is a firm policy of the UAE. The nation's leadership continues to support the efforts of the international community to establish the true principles of peace that serve the interests of all parties and to achieve security and stability in the region, without resorting to extremist speech," Sheikh Nahyan continued.
Sheikh Nahyan emphasised the importance of forming an Islamic council of observers to monitor and document all cases of Islamophobia, acts of hate and violence against Muslims on a global scale.
Religious leaders from around the world also condemned US President Donald Trump's controversial decision, naming Occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Pastor Bob Roberts, founding and senior pastor of NorthWood Church, USA, said he heard about Trump's "shocking" stunt during a visit in Bethlehem with an Evangelical group, where he and his wife were teargassed by Israeli forces.
"My heart is very heavy today. I came straight from Bethlehem and we had no idea what was going on and we were there when the announcement was made." He said Trump's decision creates separation, rather than unification.
"We have to bypass the government, we need to go straight to the people. We need to be the ones building bridges with other religions.
Dr Abbas Shouman, deputy of Al Azhar, a Muslim authority in Egypt, said he feared Trump's latest move will trigger greater conflict and violence.
"The whole world disapproves calling of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and such behaviour does not call for peace."
Dr Qamar Ul Huda, director, Security and Violent Extremism, stressed that although Trump's decision is surprising to many, the US have been "sleeping for the past 20 years when it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian peace-process".
"Tensions will continue to rise because the peace process does not exist, there is no such thing."
He stressed that Trump's move serves only the interests of the US and Israel, and will help Trump be elected in 2021.
Rev Canon Andrew Thompson, senior Anglican chaplain at St Andrew's Church, Abu Dhabi, said he was shocked and saddened by the news.
"First of all, as a Christian leader, I am appalled. I do not want to buy into the theological belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
"I am very angry with the American foreign policy, and I would really hope that Christian leaders would seek peace for Jerusalem."
"America had no right to decide the capital of another country," he added.

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