Egypt and Saudi Arabia have called for maintaining the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, amid tension following U.S. decision to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital.
On Saturday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Riyadh for talks with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir on developments in the Palestinian territories.
A statement issued by Egypt’s foreign ministry said the two top diplomats underlined the importance of maintaining the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.
The two ministers discussed Arab efforts to defend the status of the holy city, whose fate should be defined during final status negotiations, the statement said.
The meeting, the statement said, also tackled means of bolstering coordination in face of challenges to Arab national security.
The foreign ministers of six Arab states – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine and Morocco – are set to meet in Amman on Saturday to discuss the situation in Jerusalem.
Last week, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved a bill making it necessary to obtain the approval of 80 out of 120 assembly members — rather than a simple majority — to change Jerusalem’s official status or municipal boundaries.
The move came less than one month after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, drawing widespread condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.