AMMAN — In a joint statement issued on Thursday, Jordan, and Palestine announced their decision to suspend their recognition of Archbishop Nourhan Manougian as the Patriarch of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem, citing concerns regarding his management of properties in the holy land.
The move comes after repeated unsuccessful attempts to address the patriarch’s handling of properties that hold cultural, historical, and humanitarian significance, as reported by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
The statement emphasized that the decision to suspend recognition was made in accordance with the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
It was prompted by the patriarch’s actions and deals related to real estate, which have the potential to impact the future of the holy city.
These actions were undertaken without prior agreement and consultation with relevant parties, as required by laws and church regulations.
The patriarch also ignored appeals from Armenian institutions, according to the joint statement.
Concerns over Bustan site and Armenian Quarter
The joint statement highlighted that the decision by Jordan and Palestine follows the recent controversy surrounding the “deal” concerning the Bustan site, also known as “Hadiqat Al-Baqar” (Cows garden in English), and its surroundings, including the Qishla building in Bab Al-Khalil.
These sites are considered a significant part of the Armenian Quarter. Despite requests to halt any actions that could affect the historical and legal status quo of these properties, the patriarch did not respond to these demands, the statement noted.
Both parties affirmed that the Armenian Quarter is an integral and occupied part of the Old City, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, including resolutions 1515, 476, 338, 242, 2334, and other applicable international decisions.
The statement also pointed out that the Executive Board of UNESCO has issued several resolutions recognizing the Old City and its walls as part of the endangered World Heritage list.
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