Khatami: Palestinian-Governed Jerusalem is Essential
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami hit out at the ongoing Camp David peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, affirming that Jerusalem is an inalienable part of Islamic-Arab territory and must be governed by the Palestinians, state radio reported Tuesday.
"This place is the most sacred in Islam, which is why its return to its true owners is an important Islamic and human duty," Khatami said in a statement late Monday in his capacity as the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
"The question of Jerusalem is not solely a subject of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. This city is Islam's primary holy site and the very symbol of the Islamic cause," he said.
"No single person or group has the right to bargain over this sacred Islamic cause."
"The international community and Islamic countries must adopt practical methods to prevent extremism and actions organized by the Zionist regime aimed at the judaisation of Jerusalem," Khatami said.
He also pledged Iran's support for the Palestinians on other issues under discussion at Camp David.
Iran "will not spare any efforts for the restoration of the rights of the great Palestinian people, notably the right of the return for refugees, the right for self-determination and the proclamation an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said.
On Saturday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also lashed out at the US-brokered Camp David summit, saying any Palestinian compromise with Israel would fail because of resistance by Palestinian groups.
"While the flag of struggle and resistance flies, the line of compromise is doomed to fail," Khamenei said.
"Israel is a false and fictitious reality, which is why it will end up disappearing, and all residents of Palestine of all religions will live there in peace," he added.
He was speaking during a meeting with the leader of Islamic Jihad for Palestine group, Ramadan Abdullah.
Khatami is scheduled to meet members of Abdullah's delegation Tuesday - TEHRAN (AFP)
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