Morocco’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Omar Hilale, and the Apostolic Nuncio, have transmitted on Tuesday to the UN Secretary-General the “Al-Quds Call”, signed in Rabat last Saturday (March 30) by King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, and Pope Francis.
The Al-Quds Call, signed during the Pope’s historic visit to Morocco, recognizes the “uniqueness and sacredness of Jerusalem / Al-Quds Acharif”, and calls for the city to be preserved as a “common heritage of humanity and especially for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions, as a meeting place and symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue are cultivated”.
Through the “Al-Quds Call”, the Moroccan King and Pope Francis, highlighted the spiritual significance and particular vocation of Jerusalem as a city of Peace, and gave strong and unwavering support to Al-Quds at a very delicate juncture when the Palestinian issue is going through difficult times and is in urgent need of strong backing.
Relatedly, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman hailed the Al-Quds Appeal as it is in line with the position of the UN Secretary General regarding the status of the Holy City.
The content of the Al Quds Appeal “is in line with what the Secretary-General has repeatedly reiterated, namely, that Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and that this character should be preserved,” said Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN chief, Monday, during his daily briefing at the United Nations in New York.
The Spokesman stressed “the extreme importance” and “great symbolism” of the Pope’s visit to Morocco, a land of tolerance and coexistence between all religions. Any initiative likely to contribute to “more understanding and tolerance between religions is welcome,” the Spokesman said.
Ambassador Hilale and the Apostolic Nuncio also transmitted the Al-Quds Call to the chairman of the Committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, who is to hold a meeting on Palestine Wednesday, with the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, as well as with representatives of all Permanent Missions and observers in New York.
The Group of Arab Ambassadors, which held a meeting on Tuesday, under the chairmanship of ambassador Omar Hilale, commended the enlightened vision of King Mohammed VI and praised the signing by the Sovereign and Pope Francis of the Al-Quds Call. The Arab diplomats underlined that the Call is in line with international law and the fundamental principles of the Arab and Islamic Ummah. The Call also translates the undeniable support for the Palestinian people’s right to establish their State on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, a state iving side by side with Israel.
Pope Francis who was on two-day apostolic visit to Morocco March 30-31 told reporters on the papal flight that was bringing him back to Rome last Sunday, the Jerusalem Call he co-signed in Rabat with King Mohammed VI, the chairman of Al Quds Committee, this appeal was “a step forward made not by an authority of Morocco and by an authority of the Vatican, but by brother believers who suffer to see that this city of hope is still not as universal as we all want it to be: Jews, Muslims and Christians”.
“We are all citizens of Jerusalem, all believers” the Pope insisted.
Recent political events – like the Trump administration’s moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the Israeli government’s continuous squeezing of the city’s Palestinian residents – have renewed the spotlight on the city of Jerusalem.