Archbishop of Canterbury asks about the importance of coexistence of the faiths in the Old City of Jerusalem

On 6th March 2018 Lord Polak asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to promote coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:


The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the Minister recognises the importance of coexistence, which has been supported by the status quo nunc, established at the Sublime Porte by the Sultan in 1852, which has maintained coexistence between the Christians and the other communities in the Old City of Jerusalem since that date through times of war and peace. Following the welcome announcement after the recent crisis of discussions between the municipality of Jerusalem and the State of Israel and the heads of churches, will the Minister comment on how Her Majesty’s Government will support those discussions to bring about a re-establishment of the status quo and the continued flourishing of those churches, with their charitable work for coexistence?

Baroness Stedman-Scott: I thank the most reverend Primate for his question. It is not our place to comment on internal Israeli and property matters. However, we have concerns over Israeli legislation when it is applied to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including east Jerusalem. The consul-general in Jerusalem and embassy in Tel Aviv are following matters closely. These are complex issues but we will do all we can to help the situation.