Khatib: Jordan Consulting with Arab Nations over Orient House Seizure
Jordan is holding urgent consultations with Arab nations ahead of an Arab League committee meeting Thursday to discuss the seizure of Orient House in occupied Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Abdel-Ilah Al Khatib said on Sunday.
Khatib, cited by the official Petra news agency, said the talks followed Palestinian requests for the meeting after Israel occupied the unofficial Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in east Jerusalem.
He did not specify if Thursday's meeting would be held in Amman, which hosted the last Arab summit in March, or in Cairo, site of the Arab League's headquarters.
Khatib said ongoing Arab consultations also addressed the possibility of calling for a full meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers.
"The outlook is to have a meeting of the Arab summit follow-up committee that will look into inviting the Arab League Council (foreign ministers) to hold an emergency meeting," Petra quoted Khatib as saying.
"The meeting will also focus on the possibility of an Arab move towards the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to tackle the deteriorating situation in the Holy City because of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian establishments and institutions in Jerusalem," the minister said.
Petra said that Jordan began consultations to convene the follow-up committee after a telephone call between King Abdullah and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
King Abdullah has been head of the rotating summit presidency since the last ordinary Arab gathering convened in Amman six months ago.
The follow-up committee was formed at the recommendation of the ordinary Amman Summit meeting in March.
It comprises Egypt, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia.
At its last meeting in July 18, the foreign ministers issued a statement reiterating their unanimous support for the Palestinian's latest uprising, or Intifada, against 34 years of Israeli military occupation.
Israel drew international condemnation after it occupied Orient House on Friday, hours after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and 15 others in a pizzeria in west Jerusalem.
Arab governments condemned the move as Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, and called on Israel to withdraw from the building, which observers call a powerful symbol in the eyes of the Palestinian community and Arab World – Albawaba.com
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