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      Archive: 2/24/2013
      19:25
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        2/24/2013, Adar 14, 5773

      PA to Obama: Respect 'Sovereignty' During Al-Aqsa Visit


      Palestinian political and religious leaders on Sunday stressed that US President Barack Obama should not visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem in a way that might compromise its "Muslim sovereignty."

      Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, head of the higher Islamic council and former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said that Obama must enter through a gate that was not under Israeli auspices.

      "Any visitor is welcome to Al-Aqsa, but they should follow the regulations of the Waqf and enter through the Lions' Gate and not through Mughrabi Gate, to ensure Muslim sovereignty," he said at a press conference in east Jerusalem.

      "The visit shouldn't have a political theme to it because Al-Aqsa belongs to Muslims only and it is their place of worship and we refuse that any Israeli official accompanies the visitor," said Sabri.