Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
Before Their Meeting
Secretary of State
November 5, 2014
QUESTION: Minister Judeh, there were some comment – reports that Jordan is pulling its ambassador from Israel. Can you comment on that?
FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: We have recalled our ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations. I took that during – this morning after the government decided that what we have seen in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – not just in the last 24 hours, but over the last period – and in general is just way beyond the limits. We have sent repeated messages to Israel directly and indirectly that Jerusalem is a redline, and these continuous violations and incursions and stopping people from worshipping freely and allowing extremists to come in under the protection of Israeli police and so many other violations, we have said that this is a redline. And Jordan, His Majesty The King, is the custodian of Christian and Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, and these violations are infuriating the emotions and the sensitivity of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.
So I think this was a clear message today that recalling our ambassador for consultation is an indication of the seriousness of the situation. Calm has to be restored, Israel has to respect the sanctity of the holy sites, and I think this will resonate today.
SECRETARY KERRY: (In progress) — we’ll talk about. He’s been a critical partner, together with King Abdullah of Jordan, in the efforts to try to work for stability and peace in the Middle East. That remains an urgent priority, notwithstanding the very serious complications that have grown up over the course of the last months. We urge everybody to try to step back and find a way to create enough calm and enough space to be able to negotiate these difficult issues. None of them lend themselves to unilateral resolution, and I condemn today’s terrorist act of somebody driving in another car into innocent people standing on the roadside. That is not just a terrorist act and an act of – an atrocity, but it only makes matters worse. It only raises tensions.
There are those who oppose peace, and people need to not allow those who oppose peace to control what is happening in the region. The peacemakers need to control it, and they need to take steps to begin to move in a different direction. That’s what’s important. Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Well, I just want to add to that that it’s a great opportunity to meet the Secretary of State yet again, and our close consultation is something of mutual benefit. I think we have a lot to discuss. But the only way – just to reiterate what the Secretary’s saying, the only way that we can prevent these unilateral measures from continuing to take place is to have a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, at the core of which is the Palestinian-Israeli. So I think this is what we will want to work on achieving so that we don’t have another Gaza and we don’t have these continuous violations and unilateral actions.