Wednesday, December 16, 2015


 Jakarta, Dec 16, 2015 (Antara) - Early 2016 hopefully will be a new chapter for the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Palestine as Indonesia plans to officially open an honorary consulate in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine.
         "We are now moving one step further, further towards something greater," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said after meeting her Palestinian counterpart, Riad Al-Maliki, in Jakarta, on December 14, 2015.
         Al-Maliki expressed his gratitude to Indonesia for always helping Palestine to survive particularly during the harsh situation. "We want to build our country for the future. That is why we cooperate with Indonesia," he said.
         "I am very satisfied with the establishment of Indonesia's honorary consulate in Ramallah in the beginning of next year," he added.

         Minister Retno Marsudi affirmed that the honorary consulate would not only increase Indonesia's presence in Ramallah but would also serve to deepen the country's relations with Palestine.
         "We want to build a closer relation with the Palestinian people. That is why, we have decided to open a honorary consulate in Ramallah officially early next year. This is to show escalating number of Indonesian representatives in Ramallah and our presence means that our commitment goes beyond political and technical support," she said.
         The honorary consul will be a Palestinian citizen and will be posted in Ramallah, the foreign ministry's director general for multilateral affairs, Hasan Kleib, said in Jakarta, on December 15, 2015.
         Kleib refused to reveal the name of the female consul but explained that she would not handle political affairs or the peace process with Israel but would only represent the interests of Indonesian citizens in Ramallah.
         Marsudi said Indonesia firmly supported Palestine's independence and sovereignty.
         As a staunch supporter of Palestine to gain its independence, Indonesia has spared no efforts to back up the Palestinian cause at the United Nations, according to Minister Marsudi in her remarks during a conference on "Addressing the Present and Shaping the Future of Jerusalem",  held by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)  and the Indonesian government, in Jakarta, December 14 and 15, 2015.
         Indonesia had supported the resolutions to accord Palestine non-member observer state status at the UN in November 2012, participated in the ceremony of Palestine flag-raising at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2015, and organized at least 200 programs of capacity building, among other things to train Palestinian police, security officers, diplomats and entrepreneurs.
         Indonesia trained at least 1,338 Palestinians as part of its capacity building programs organized through the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) between 2008 and 2013.
         The capacity building programs covered various fields including small and medium scale businesses, financial and taxation service, micro financial service, agriculture, regular diplomatic training, archives, health and energy.
         Other fields were women's empowerment, democratization and good governance, industry, monument and site conservation and restoration, and construction.
         In addition, Indonesia has also been taking active part in the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) and hosted it in 2014. It is also planning to attend the next meeting to be held in Japan next year.
         When hosting the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Asia-Africa Conference in Jakarta in April, Indonesia and participating countries came up with a Declaration on Palestine. The document contains support for the Palestinian people to gain genuine independence.
         The Indonesian foreign minister said it was no coincidence that her country was hosting the International Conference, particularly because Jakarta was East Jerusalem's sister city and was proud to be host the conference.
         Yet, despite those and many other efforts, peace prospects had come and gone, she said, emphasizing that Israel had continued to impose a reign of terror throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, violating international and human rights laws. 
    "This cannot and must not continue," she said, underlining that Israeli practices had exacerbated tensions on the ground and triggered instability in the region. 
    Calling on the Security Council to honour its Charter, responsibilities and act to ensure Israel's compliance with international law, she said more work needed to be done to break the current political impasse.
         She said that while ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen and growing threats by radicalism and extremism of Islamic State had diverted the international community¿s attention from the prolonged conflict between Palestine and Israel, it was to be hoped that the meeting could provide an important impetus towards bringing the issue of Palestine back onto the world's radar.
         In the meantime, speaking in the conference on Jerusalam, Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, said he was looking forward to the increasing role of the Indonesian diplomacy in the peacemaking and peacebuilding process.
         Palestinians has limited or no protection for their rights and should be provided with assistance to regain their rights, the Indonesian senior diplomat noted. ***2***
(F001) 17-12-2015 00:23:01

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