AMMAN (The Jordan Times) — Jordan and Palestine on Thursday issued a joint statement, announcing their decision to suspend their recognition of Patriarch Nourhan Manougian as the Patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, the holy land and Jordan.

This decision comes after numerous unsuccessful attempts to address the patriarch’s handling of properties in Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter, which hold cultural, historical and humanitarian significance, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The statement emphasized that this decision was made in accordance with the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

It was prompted by the patriarch’s real estate-related actions and deals, which could impact the future of the holy city, undertaken without prior agreement and consultation with relevant parties, as required by laws and church regulations.

The patriarch also ignored appeals from Armenian institutions, read the statement.

The statement further highlighted that the decision of Jordan and Palestine follows the recent “deal” concerning the Bustan site, also known as the “Hadiqat Al Baqar” (Cows garden in English) and its surroundings, including the Qishla building in Bab Al Khalil, which is 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 said.

Both parties affirmed that the Armenian Quarter is an integral and occupied part of the Old City, subject to relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly, including resolutions 1515, 476, 338, 242, 2334, and other applicable international decisions.

The statement also noted 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. The actions of Patriarch Manougian were considered a clear violation of international charters and resolutions aimed at preserving Jerusalem’s status quo and safeguarding the Armenian heritage of the city, the statement said.

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