Israel, Saudi Arabia in Secret Talks to Curb Turkish Presence on Temple Mount

(Israel Hayom) Daniel Siryoti - Israel and Saudi Arabia have been reportedly engaged in secret talks since last December, through American mediation, over including Saudi representatives in the Islamic Waqf Council at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to one senior Saudi diplomat, up until a few months ago the Jordanians - who hold special and exclusive status in managing the Waqf - adamantly objected to any change in the Waqf Council. Amman, however, has since changed its position amid intensive Turkish interference in east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The Jordanians decided, in contravention of the Oslo Accords, to include Palestinian representatives in the Waqf Council. But the Palestinian officials who joined the Waqf opened the door for the Turkish government to establish a presence by funneling tens of millions of dollars - under direct order from Turkish President Erdogan - through Islamist-Turkish non-profit organizations. Consequently, the Jordanians have told Israel and the U.S. that they are now prepared to soften their position on incorporating Saudi representatives to the Waqf, on condition that Jordan retains its exclusive status on the Mount and that Saudi Arabia applies diplomatic pressure to expel the Turkish Islamist organizations operating under Palestinian auspices.

2020-06-01 00:00:00

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