Jakarta. Ambassadors of Arab countries in Indonesia on Wednesday (20/12) said the conflict over Palestine has never been an "Arab or Muslim" issue, instead any attempt to resolve it should be focused on stopping Israel’s illegal occupation of the territory.
"The main core is that there is an occupied land; this occupation is by Israel on the land of the Palestinians. Israel is the only state on earth now which is occupying other people’s land," Egypt’s ambassador to Indonesia, Ahmed Amr Ahmed Manned told the Jakarta Globe during a media gathering in Jakarta hosted by Saudi Arabia's ambassador.
The event was attended by ambassadors of twelve other Arab countries, including Palestine, Jordan, Libya and Iraq, in a show of unity to support Palestinian independence.
Egypt drafted a United Nations security council resolution calling for the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which was vetoed by the United States on Monday.
The remaining 14 members of the council voted in favor.
The UN General Assembly is set to hold an emergency session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim states.
Ambassador Manned said the fight for Palestinian independence has struggled to deflect attempts to defocus from the main issue of Israeli occupation, and stressed that Jerusalem's status is not just an issue for the Arab and Muslim world.
"This is not an Islamic issue. This is an issue concerning two main religions of this earth – it is the issue of Muslims and Christians as well," Manned said.
The ambassador said Israel's claim that the disputed ancient city was the site of Solomon's temple is a "big lie" and that there are no ruins to be found of said temple in the holy site.
He also added that Palestinian independence is an issue for the world.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaibi, echoed the sentiment expressed by the Egyptian ambassador.
"[This is] about a country taking over a land, and the site for Muslims and Christians being taken over by Jews," Al Shuaibi said, adding that the conflict should be solved through available UN mechanisms.
Al Shuaibi also touched on Saudi Arabia’s relations with the United States, saying that his government has advised the Trump administration to "back up and change their mind" during various platforms and meetings.
Despite its status as a regional leader in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia does not see itself taking the role of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Saudi ambassador highlighted that the oil-rich country has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
"We don't have an embassy [in Israel], or trade with Israel... therefore we don't want to be involved because [Israelis] are tricky, you cannot trust [them], they are sneaky," Al Shuaibi told the Globe.