Jerusalem tensions: Israel’s diplomatic efforts to achieve calm

Minister of Foreign Affairs Lapid spoke with his US counterpart, while President Herzog spoke with Turkey’s President Erdoğan

Jerusalem tensions: Israel’s diplomatic efforts to achieve calm

Palestinians pray at Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa. April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid spoke on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, updating him about Israel’s efforts to ensure freedom of worship to followers of the three religions in Jerusalem. 

The two discussed the importance of Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. FM Lapid emphasized Israel’s responsible and measured efforts in the face of riots by hundreds of Islamic extremists on the Temple Mount, as well as falsehoods and disinformation spread by extremists which are fanning the flames of violence instead of bringing about calm. 

FM Lapid told the Secretary of State Blinken that Israel is not willing to tolerate calls in support of violence, and emphasized the need for international support for returning calm to Jerusalem.

The two leaders spoke in the context of security tensions and discussed the need to calm the situation

Also yesterday, President Isaac Herzog spoke with the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The phone call was held further to the Turkish President's request to speak with President Herzog in the context of the security tensions in recent days. The conversation was conducted in a good and open spirit. 

President Herzog reaffirmed that contrary to false reports, the State of Israel is careful to maintain the status quo and freedom of worship, especially during this period, so that members of all religions - Jews, Muslims, and Christians - may celebrate their holidays safely.

President Herzog told President Erdoğan about the intense efforts made by the Israel Police and other security forces, which are facilitating prayers every day on the Temple Mount, despite provocations and incitement on the part of various actors.He added that we must not listen to the voices of incitement and mendacious propaganda, and that the public is looking up to the region's leaders and expects us all to act responsibly and work for calm in these holy days for all religions in the region.

President Erdoğan of Turkey expressed his concern and pain regarding the events of recent days. He emphasized that the status quo at the holy sites is very important to the Muslim world and that he was happy to hear the Israeli leadership's firm statements about maintaining it.

The two presidents agreed to remain in ongoing contact, including in times of disagreement, in order to calm the situation and strengthen relations between Israel and Turkey.

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