Indonesia wants Palestine to be independent: President Jokowi

Indonesia wants Palestine to be independent: President Jokowi

Presiden Joko Widodo (Jokowi). (ANTARA/Yudhi Mahatma)

I think since the beginning we wanted Palestine to be a country."
Sukoharjo (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has maintaining a consistent stance, noting that Indonesia wants to see Palestine becomes an independent country like other nations.

"I think since the beginning we wanted Palestine to be a country," Jokowi said here on Saturday.

The Indonesian head of state said he would contact the Palestinian ambassador to Indonesia and the Palestinian president in the very near future.

"On Monday, I will call the ambassador first, and then Mr. President," Jokowi said.

Al Jazeera reported that the Palestinian flag was raised in the Rose Garden of the United Nations at 1:00pm local time (6:00pm GMT) on Wednesday (Sept. 30) as a large crowd of diplomats and reporters watched on.

The General Assembly approved the resolution to raise the flag with an overwhelming majority voting in favor of it on September 10.

The motion was passed with 119 votes in favor, while 45 countries abstained and eight voted against, among them Israel, the US, Australia and Canada.

Addressing the crowd, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dedicated the ceremony to "The martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded, and to those who gave their lives while trying to raise this flag."

The move, strongly criticized by Israel, was also opposed by the United States.

Senior Hamas leader Ghazi al-Hamad said the flag-raising was "a positive step," but added that "it was not enough."

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank has focused too much on "symbolic acts," Hamad told Al Jazeera, adding that only with unity between the West Bank and Gaza can Palestinians "confront the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state."

Hamad said that Palestinians were facing a "dire situation" as Israeli settlements continue to rapidly expand and tensions have soared at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, where clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forces have occurred on a near-daily basis in recent weeks.