British envoy visits Temple Mount, backs Waqf control of the holy site

Minister of Mideast Affairs Tariq Ahmad backs Jordanian Waqf’s administration of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, references ‘occupied Palestinian territories.’

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

The Minister of Middle East Affairs at the British Foreign Ministry, Tariq Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem accompanied by senior Waqf officials and reiterated “Britain’s unwavering support for the alleged custodian of the holy places in the occupied Palestinian territories, and the importance of maintaining the status quo,” the British Foreign Ministry announced.

Lord Ahmed also met with the PA Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Malki, in Ramallah, and emphasized Britain’s commitment to the Palestinian Authority, and the importance of bilateral relations.

Lord Ahmed expressed his country’s concern about the recent acts of violence that cause instability in the “occupied Palestinian territories”, as he said, and emphasized Britain’s willingness to support any dialogue between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis.

The British Consulate General in Jerusalem tweeted, “As a Muslim, he had the opportunity to pray in the mosque.”

Lord (Tariq) Ahmad himself tweeted it was, “An honor and privilege to spend time at the holy Al Aqsa Mosque this morning with the Director of Jerusalem Waqf Department Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib. I emphasized the UK’s unwavering support for Jordanian Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites and for the Status Quo.”

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The British minister arrived in the region for a visit that began on Wednesday and will last for several days. This is his first visit since taking up his position.

The director general of the Waqf office in Hebron, Nidal Al-Jabri, on Thursday briefed Lord (Tariq) Ahmed, and the accompanying delegation, about “the suffering of the citizens as a result of the Israeli occupation and the repressive measures in the Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs.”