UN Secretary General Guterres should apologize to the Palestinians: official

2017-01-29 18:19:28 GMT2017-01-30 02:19:28(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

RAMALLAH, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestinian official said on Sunday that United Nations Secretary General António Guterres should apologize for the remarks he made earlier on Jerusalem.

Israel Public Radio reported on Sunday that Guterres earlier stated that "It's clear as the son is clear that the Temple, which was demolished by the Romans, is a Jewish temple."

Adnan al-Huseini, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) minister for Jerusalem affairs, told Xinhua that "he (Guterres) neglected the UNESCO resolutions, which clearly said that the al-Aqsa Mosque is purely an Islamic heritage."

Al-Huseini added that Guterres' remarks "are a violation to all human, diplomatic and legal rules and laws and a violation to his position as the secretary general," adding "he (Guterres) should apologize to the Palestinian people for his remarks."

However, the former Portuguese prime minister, who took office in the UN earlier in January, stated that "no one can deny the truth that Jerusalem is holy for the three major religions."

Guterres said he is not intending to present any political initiative "to resolve" the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, although he supports the two-state solution and ready to extend his hand to help the two sides if it is needed.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Majdalani, the official in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in an emailed press statement that the remarks of Guterres "is a strike to the credibility of the UN as a global organization that should stay to the side of the occupied people and be against the power of the occupation."

The PLO official went on saying that "it seems the new UN secretary general is lacking trust and he doesn't understand his position," adding "he (Guterres) should clarify his remarks that give Israel a green light for more measures against Jerusalem."

The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, the capital of their future Palestinian state, while Israel, which annexed the eastern part of the city, insists that the whole city is the eternal capital of the state of Israel.