Palestine, Jordan suspends recognition of Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem

RAMALLAH, Friday, (WAFA) – Palestine and Jordan Thursday suspended their recognition of Archbishop Nourhan Manougian as the Patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Jordan.

According to the Jordan News Agency, both countries issued a joint statement suspending their recognition of Manougian as Patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church because of Manougian's "dealings" with the real estate of the Armenian quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The statement noted that the two countries had decided to suspend their recognition following instructions from President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II after Manougian took real estate measures and deals that would affect the future of Jerusalem without agreement and consultation with the relevant parties.

The decision, according to the statement, came after the "deal" related to the al-Bustan site known as the "Cow Garden" and its surroundings, which extends to the "Al-Qishla" building in Bab al-Khalil, which constitutes a large part of the Armenian quarter.

Both countries stressed that the site constitutes an integral part of the Old City of Jerusalem, a part of the territories occupied since June 1967, and to which United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, including UNSC Resolution 1515, UNSC Resolution 476, UNSC Resolution 338 and UNSC Resolution 2334, apply.

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.

In November 2021, Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Riyad Malki, raised the issue of the leasing the “Goveroun Bardez” plot of land, located in the historic Armenian Quarter of East Jerusalem and owned by the Armenian Patriarchate Jerusalem, to the Israeli occupation authorities, namely the Jerusalem municipality and Jerusalem Development Authority, with his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, in Paris.

At the time, Malki underscored the gravity of the transaction, which would open the door for the gradual encroachment of Israel’s settler-colonialism into the Aremian Quarter in Jerusalem.

He urged the Armenian Foreign Ministry to intervene to protect the properties of the Armenian Church in the Old City, stop any action that can affect its legal and historic status and safeguard the Palestinian people and Armenians’ rights to the Old City.

The top Palestinian diplomat stressed the need for the Armenian Foreign Ministry to take prompt action and exert pressures in order to cancel this “suspicious transaction”, which risks accelerating the obliteration of the Palestinian, Muslim and Christian, character of Jerusalem.