Opening of Al Aqsa Mosque will ease tension between Israel and Muslims: Trump advisor
Abu Dhabi - Jared Kushner says the UAE's historic peace treaty with Israel will bring economic prosperity to both countries.
The opening of Islam's third-holiest site, Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, for all Muslims as part of the UAE-Israel peace treaty will help reduce tension between Israel and the Muslim world, a senior US official said on Monday.
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"Israelis are very excited that they can get cheaper flights now by flying through Dubai, and I know a lot of Muslims are excited that they can now fly through Dubai to Tel Aviv to go and visit the Al Aqsa Mosque," Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to US President Donald Trump, told a telephonic press briefing from Washington.
Israel has said that King Abdullah II of Jordan will remain as the custodian of the mosque that is now open to all Muslims, he explained.
"We can get Muslims to come and pray at the mosque freely and peacefully; the more people throughout the world will realise the mosque is not under attack, the mosque is open, and that hopefully will reduce the tension that exists between Israel and the Muslim world based on some historic anti-Semitic divides that have existed for far too long," Kushner observed.
"Obviously, this historic breakthrough, this is the first peace agreement in the region in 26 years, and only the third in the last 70 years with Israel. And so I do think it gives a lot of people great optimism that the Middle East doesn't have to be stuck in conflicts of the past," Kushner added. "Hopefully this leads to a whole new set of progress that can bring the region forward."
President Donald Trump's Vision for Peace laid out in January this year aimed at a two-state solution to Israel-Palestine conflict, Kushner said.
"He [president] got Israel to agree to negotiate on the basis of the president's vision, agree to the map, and agree to move forward on a Palestinian state. This was a major breakthrough. Now Israel has made a very generous offer for a state and for land swaps, and the ball is really in the court of the Palestinians now. And obviously, we welcome them any time to come to the table."
The peace deal will bring economic prosperity to both Israel and the UAE, the senior advisor noted.
"The UAE and Israel are security powerhouses, technology powerhouses and economic powerhouses. People see tremendous potential for commerce between them."
He made it clear that the US is not pressurising any other countries in the region to make diplomatic ties with Israel. Each country is supposed to take an independent decision about such a matter, Kushner said.
US President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, spoke on Thursday and agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE.
This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the UAE and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region, said a joint statement.