NEW YORK: A global partnership is critical to the efforts to resolve the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told his fellow world leaders on Wednesday.
In a prerecorded message on the second day of the high-level Annual General Debate at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, he said the recent war on Gaza was a reminder that the status quo in the Palestinian territories is untenable.
He also highlighted the critical role of the UN’s Refugees and Works Agency in providing life-saving assistance to 5.7 million Palestinian refugees suffering as a result of what he described as “one of the longest-standing conflicts in modern history.”
“How many more homes will be lost?” the king asked. “How many more children die before the world wakes up?”
He added that the key to “genuine security” for both sides is a two-state solution that leads to the establishment of an “independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state” where Palestinians can live “side-by-side with Israel in peace and security,” based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“Jerusalem is at the heart of this peace,” said King Abdullah. “Billions of people around the world hold this holy city dear.
“I believe Jerusalem’s holiness to Muslims, Christians and Jews can, and must, bring us together. With international help, the Holy City can be not a cause of division but a symbol of unity for all to see.”
He vowed that his country will continue to work to preserve the legal status quo of Jerusalem and its holy sites under Hashemite custodianship.
The king also talked about Lebanon, where a dire humanitarian and economic catastrophe has left millions living in despair and “family tables without food.”
He called on the global community to work together to develop a “well-planned, well-executed international response.”
“In this time of great need, we owe the Lebanese people our full support to enable them to rise from this crisis,” he added.
In addition, he called on the international community not to forget the millions of refugees in need around the world or the countries that host them, including Lebanon.