Thursday, May 27, 2010


Jakarta, May 27, 2010 (ANTARA) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will pay a working visit to Jakarta on May 28-29, 2010 or about three years after his first state visit here in October 2007.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Tuesday, apart from bilateral issues, he and Abbas would also discuss a new chapter in the peace process between Palestine and Israel.

In a statement shortly before leaving for Oslo, Norway, the President said Indonesia would remain consistent in its support for the cause of an independent state of Palestine.

Indonesia had demonstrated this stance at Asian-African forums to boost Palestine`s capacity to become an independent country, Yudhoyono stated.

Also known as Abu Mazen, Mahmoud Abbas was born in Safad, in Palestine in 1935. Following the Jewish invasion and military attacks in Palestine, his family fled Safed in 1948 and settled in Syria.

He co-founded Fatah with Yasser Arafat and accompanied him into exile in Jordan, then Lebanon and then Tunisia. In the early days of the movement, he became respected for his clean and simple living.

Abbas studied law in Egypt before doing a doctorate in Moscow. He is the author of several books.

He served as Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority in 2003, and on January 9, 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected President of the Palestine National Authority.

In addition to a bilateral meeting with President Yudhoyono, President Abbas during his one-day stay in Jakarta, as part of his Asian tour taking him also to Vietnam and Malaysia, will hold meetings among others with Vice President Boediono and Arab ambassadors, according to a source of the Palestinian embassy in Jakarta, Thursday (May 27).

Palestine and Indonesia most likely might also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the construction of Indonesian hospital at Gaza Strip, Palestine, the source said.

Recently, Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi told representatives of Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C) Indonesia, led by MER-C Presidium chairman dr Sarbini Abdul Murad that: "The presence of Indonesian hospital at Gaza Strip is urgent and therefore we have to support it."

He said the Health Ministry has agreed on the construction of the hospital and then allocated Rp20 billion funds to build the health facility at Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Sarbini Abdul Murad said MER-C has also allocated Rp13 billion fund for the construction of the Indonesian hospital at Gaza Strip with the donation from Indonesian community.

Indonesia, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation, has so far refused to establish diplomatic ties with Israel as long as the Jewish state is still occupying Palestine, as the country`s Constitution is against colonialism in any part of the world.

Indonesia and Palestine have committed to embarking on concrete cooperation as it was especially emphasized during President Mahmoud Abbas`s state visit in Jakarta in 2007.

Witnessed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Abbas in Jakarta, in 2007, Palestine and Indonesia signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on training and courses for Palestinian diplomats and policemen, sister-city cooperation between Al Quds (Jerusalem) and Jakarta, and regular consultations between the two administrations.

Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi confirmed to ANTARA in 2007 that the two nations had decided to move forward to concrete cooperation from their previous efforts which were mostly political and moral in nature.

Indonesia has been tirelessly supporting Palestine in various international political and diplomatic arena, especially in the United Nations Security Council and other other bodies.

Last March 2010, The Indonesian government has condemned Israel for its provocative decision to build 1,600 illegal houses in Palestine`s East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Indonesia`s permanent representative to the United Nations, World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international organizations, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, expressed the condemnation in his capacity as the head of the Indonesian delegation to the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Indonesia`s chief delegate said Indonesia remained deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where living conditions had deteriorated sharply since the excessive and disproportionate aggression of Operation Cast Lead.

"There were blatant infringements of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibited tampering with or modification of religious heritage sites in occupied areas, and Israel should halt that provocative and illegal policy, as such activities did nothing but increase tensions and hostilities in the region and ultimately hindered efforts towards a long-awaited peace process," Ambassador Djani said.

The report of the High Commissioner outlined many troubling incidents and painted a picture of unacceptable suffering and despair for the Palestinian people.

"There is no doubt that the occupation had resulted in widespread violations of the civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people, and there were breaches of the fundamental human rights to water, sanitation and decent housing, as well as to freedom of religion," he said.

All of those violations, alongside documented incidences of torture and arbitrary detention, were a testament to the occupying power`s clear disregard for basic human rights, he said.

Indonesia also deeply regretted that the protracted conflict remained unresolved, and expressed steadfast support to the diplomatic efforts by the international community to find a just and comprehensive two-State solution leading to the establishment of an independent and democratic State of Palestine.

The Muslim-majority nation also reminded the world that no progress on peace had been made after the Goldstone report, and the recommendations of the latter had not been fully implemented.

In April 2010, the Indonesian government has urged Israel to stop its air raids on the Gaza Strip in Palestine which targeted the civilian population.

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, Tengku Faizasyah, said in Jakarta that the recent air raids would hamper the peace efforts between Israel and Palestine.

"The use of military force by Israel in the Gaza Strip will have a great impact on the local people. Their actions in the Gaza Strip are a violation of international law," Faizasyah said recently.

Also early April this year, President of the Palestinian Red Crescent Younis Al-Khatib visited Jakarta and conveyed invitation to Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Chief Jusuf M Kalla to visit Palestine.

The Palestinian Red Crescent wanted to strengthen cooperation with red cross and red crescent organizations throughout the world, including with PMI, Al-Khatib said.

On the occasion, the PMI chief presented humanitarian aid worth US$100,000 for the Palestinian people.

Last February 2009, PMI and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) dispatched 2,000 blankets and US$120,000 in funds donated by the Indonesian people, for victims of Israeli military attacks in Gaza, Palestine.

In the United Nations Headquarters in New York, early May this year, Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, criticized Israel for refusing to sign and ratify the NPT which has resulted in the continued exposure of non-nuclear weapon states of the region to nuclear threats by the only country possessing these weapons of mass destruction.

Israel, he warned, has also unleashed risks associated with the operation of "unsafe-guarded nuclear facilities and activities of unknown safety standards".

The Jewish state has also implicitly triggered the threat of a nuclear arms race of "a catastrophic regional and international potential" thereby jeopardising the NPT regime in its entirety, said Natalegawa, echoing the views of the largest single political coalition at the United Nations.

"This situation is unsustainable," as it also jeopardizes the implementation of the 1995 resolution calling for the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, Natalegawa warned.

(T. F001/A/HAJM/15:25/f001)
(T.F001/A/F001/F001) 27-05-2010 15:31:27

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