Karadi's first stop was the office of Jordan's police chief, Major-General Muhammad Majid al-Aitan, to discuss border security, a spokesman for the public security department in Amman said on Wednesday.

  

Karadi's visit comes amid increasing fears that rightwing Jewish extremists could try to launch an attack on the compound, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, in a bid to disrupt the pullout of settlers from the Gaza Strip.

  

Jordanian Interior Minister Awni Yarvas said "the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque is of a strategic concern to the Jordanian government".

 

Clarification

  

Yarvas later clarified that he had no plans to meet Karadi, but would hold talks with a delegation of Greek Orthodox church leaders from Jerusalem, where the patriarchate has been accused of selling land to Jewish investors.

  

"We will discuss the Jordanian law that regulates relations between the Greek Orthodox patriarchy in Jerusalem and the Jordanian government," he said.

  

"We will discuss the Jordanian law that regulates relations between the Greek Orthodox patriarchy in Jerusalem and the Jordanian government"

Awni Yarvas,
Jordanian Interior Minister

Israel captured mainly Arab East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, but the peace treaty signed between the two countries in 1994 recognises that Amman has a "historic role" over the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

  

Amman also maintains it has jurisdiction over Orthodox Christian holy sites in Jerusalem in line with a law adopted in Jordan in 1958, when it ruled Jerusalem and the West Bank.

  

Jordan's King Abd  Allah II said recently that any attack on the mosque site would "undermine the security and stability of the region".

  

The compound shelters the Dome of the Rock as well as al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

The site is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the holiest shrine in Judaism, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD.