March 17, 1997

Arab, Muslim ministers to meet on Jerusalem

RABAT, Morocco (Reuter) - Foreign ministers from the 16-member Al-Qods (Jerusalem) committee will meet in Rabat on March 27 to examine ``the dangers which threaten the holy city,'' the official Moroccan news agency MAP said Monday.

Quoting a statement from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), it said the ministers ``will examine the latest development in the Jerusalem question and the dangers which threaten the holy city particularly because of the Israeli government's persistence to build settlements in and around the city ...''

The Israeli government has vowed to go ahead with building 6,500 homes for Jews in Arab East Jerusalem which Palestinians see as the capital of their future state. Israel says the whole of Jerusalem is its capital.

The OIC statement said the Israeli government was ``putting into application its plan aiming to judaize the holy city and completely alter its Arab-Islamic stamp.''

The decision to convene the committee, which is headed by Moroccan King Hassan, followed visits to Rabat by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in February and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last week.