Jerusalem - Ma'an - In a letter sent to the chairman of the Al Quds Committee, King Muhammad VI of Morocco, on 12 March, the UK prime minister, Tony Blair, assured that Britain does not recognize sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem.
The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) reported in a press release that Blair stated:
"Jerusalem's status has yet to be determined, and should be resolved as part of a final status agreement. Pending agreement, we consider East Jerusalem to be occupied territory. We recognise no one claim to sovereignty over the city. We do not support any action that predetermines final status negotiations on the future of Jerusalem."
CAABU states that this is "the clearest statement" Tony Blair has made regarding the UK's view on the holy city for many years. "In it," CAABU says, "Blair states explicitly that Britain does not recognize sovereignty over any part of the city."
CAABU adds that this does not represent the formal position of the UK government. However, "Blair himself has been very reluctant to make such strong legal statements on Jerusalem especially ones that contrast markedly with the US and Israeli positions," CAABU points out.
The Al Quds (Jerusalem) Committee has sixteen member states from across the Islamic world, presided over by King Muhammad VI of Morocco. It was established during the 6th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in 1975 in Saudi Arabia.