Al-Quds Committee describes Jerusalem as key to Mideast conflict

Rabat, Morocco - Participants at a forum of the Islamic Conference's al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee have described Jerusalem as the key to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Moroccan media reported Thursday.

The committee is staging an international forum in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI chairs the committee. The two-day forum was ending on Thursday.

The common cultural heritage represented by Jerusalem should become a "platform" for relaunching peace talks, the Moroccan national news agency MAP quoted Andre Azoulay as saying.

Azoulay is advisor to Mohammed VI and president of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean foundation for cultural dialogue.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh described Jerusalem as the "basis of the Palestinian cause," while Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said there was no possibility of peace without East Jerusalem becoming the capital of a Palestinian state.

Arab countries are, however, somewhat unclear on whether all or only a part of Jerusalem would become a Palestinian capital, observers said.

Azoulay said Jerusalem could not be anyone's exclusive property and needed to become an "open space to all with two capitals for two states."

The forum accused Israel of aggressive policies threatening the Islamic character of East Jerusalem, which the al-Quds Committee seeks to protect.

Israeli extremists violated even religious sites under Israeli "official cover," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas alleged before leaving Morocco on Thursday. (dpa)