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Biden calls to preserve Temple Mount status quo in call with Jordan’s king

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

US President Joe Biden, right, shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/ Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden, right, shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/ Susan Walsh)

US President Joe Biden speaks with Jordan’s King Abdullah about recent tensions in Jerusalem.

The call comes less than a day after Biden spoke with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the same issue as the US has amped up its diplomacy aimed at de-escalating the situation.

“The two leaders discussed in detail recent efforts to stem violence in Israel and the West Bank, including at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem,” the White House says.

“The president welcomed recent steps to reduce tensions and expressed his hope that the final week of Ramadan will pass peacefully. He underscored the need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, and recognized the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem,” the US readout adds.

The Jordanian royal court issues its own statement on the call that says the two “noted the importance of maintaining coordination to prevent the recurrence of violations in Jerusalem that may undermine peace prospects and lead to further escalation.”

According to the statement, Abdullah also reiterates Jordan’s backing for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with an independent Palestinian state established along the so-called 1967 lines and with a capital in East Jerusalem.

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