Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indonesia, Palestine Move Toward Concrete Cooperation: Envoy

     Jakarta, Oct. 23, 2007 (ANTARA) - Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi said the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was successful as the two nations had agreed to embark on concrete cooperation.
        Palestine and Indonesia signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) which would be implemented and followed by concrete actions, Ambassador Mehdawi told ANTARA after the conclusion of the state visit of President Mahmoud Abbas to Jakarta, from October 21 to 23, 2007.

        The MoUs signed by the two countries last Monday were on news exchange between ANTARA News Agency and Wafa News Agency, training and courses for Palestinian diplomats and policemen, sister-city cooperation between Al Quds (Jerusalem) and Jakarta, and regular consultations between the two administrations.
        The ambassador said the two nations decided to move forward to concrete cooperation from their previous efforts which were mostly political and moral in nature.
        The sister-city cooperation was important and Jakarta could help develop the infrastructure of East Jerusalem and prevent Israel from making it a Jewish city, he said.

        Mehdawi also said that cooperation between both nations' media was significant, particularly to enable Indonesian journalists to witness the situation in Palestine directly.

        He said at present a number of Indonesian chief editors, including Endy Bayuni of the Jakarta Post, Uni Lubis, and those from Tempo and Metro TV, were in Israel at the invitation of the Jewish Community in Australia.

        Before leaving for Israel, they held a meeting with the Palestinian ambassador to ask about the latest situation and seek possibilities to meet Palestinina sources, he said.

        Mehdawi said although the journalists' visit was not at the invitation of Palestine, he knew that the Indonesian media always supported Palestine.

        Touching on the conflict between Hamas and Fatah, the Ambassador said Indonesia had offered to help resolve their dispute. Several religious and political figures such as Nur Hidayat Wahid, chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly, and a leader of the PKS (Prosperous Justice Party) who had contacts with Hamas, could convince Hamas to return to the situation before Hamas' coup d'etat last June 14, 2007, the ambassador said.

        Mehdawi said that despite their conflict, Hamas and Fatah had the same objective, namely to fight against Israeli occupation and to strive for an independent and sovereign Palestinian nation. (T/F001/A/HAJM/15:10/A014)

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