A Palestinian woman prays in front of the Dome of the Rock (Reuters)
The 20th meeting of the Arab ministers of tourism council – which was held on Wednesday at the League of Arab States (LAS) premises in Cairo – saw condemnation of the expected announcement by US President Donald Trump that the US will officially recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Palestinian tourism minister Rola Maaya, who led the session, called on the United States and all other countries to respect UN Security Council resolutions concerning Jerusalem, which reject any attempt to change the legal and historical status of East Jerusalem, its holy places, identity or demographic makeup.
Maaya said that the expected decision by Trump "is clear and direct aggression against the Arab world and the rights of the Palestinian people," adding that such a decision would reduce the chances for peace in the Middle East.
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Palestinian people," Maaya said.
Reports of the expected move by Trump have been met with warnings from world leaders and public figures that it could derail the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and inflame tensions in the region.
The Palestinian minister also spoke about the impact of regional crises on tourism in Arab countries.
"We should focus our efforts on developing programmes and activities to promote tourism in Arab countries," she said.
LAS Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit said at the meeting that restoring stability and eliminating terrorism are key to restoring tourism.
Abul-Gheit also called for global tourism campaigns and initiatives.