ASTANA – Kazakhstan is concerned about the increasing tensions in the Middle East and urged to maintain the status quo, said Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov during an April 10 press briefing.
“We hope that common sense will prevail in the current situation, and all parties involved will show restraint and refrain from steps leading to violence, further deterioration of the situation, as well as acts of incitement,” Smadiyarov said.
The ministry’s spokesperson also expressed hope that political, religious, and community leaders will try to de-escalate tensions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover holiday.
Kazakhstan has always stood for tolerance and strengthening of inter-religious dialogue, Smadiyarov reiterated.
“The country firmly supports the efforts of the international community aimed at a peaceful settlement of the Middle East issue in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” he concluded.
Tensions exacerbated at Jerusalem’s holy sites after Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa mosque last week, trying to remove worshippers who barricaded themselves amid reports that Jewish extremists wanted to sacrifice a goat at the site for Passover. Israeli police said they would not allow such an act to take place.
The confrontations sparked violence and triggered rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, with Israel striking targets in retaliation. These tensions resulted in armed clashes between worshippers at the site.
The Al-Aqsa mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, whereas Jews, who call the area Temple Mount, consider it the holiest site in Judaism.