OIC summit important to save Palestine: MP

OIC summit important to save Palestine: MP

Mahfudz Siddiq. (ANTARANews/Zul Sikumbang)

For the past three years the issue of Palestine seems to have been sidelined."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian Member of Parliament said the upcoming 5th Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would be very important to save Palestine and Jerusalem.

"The situation in Palestine is becoming more uncertain. This is what would make the OIC Conference very important with regard to saving Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif (the holy city of Jerusalem)," Mahfudz Siddiq, the chairman of Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) noted in a press release received here Saturday.

The upcoming summit, scheduled on March 6-7, would bring the issue of Palestine back on to the surface again after it had been neglected for the past few years, he said.

"For the past three years the issue of Palestine seems to have been sidelined. The 5th OIC Extraordinary Summit is being held in the midst of concerns over the developments in Palestine," he said.

There were several reasons for the Palestine issue being ignored, an example being the new conflicts in the Middle East, Mahfudz Siddiq said.

The conflicts in the Middle East have been dominated by issues of the ISIS, Shiah-Sunni and Syrian conflicts.

"The cost of the conflicts and battles borne by countries in the Middle East and surrounding countries has brought the flow of assistance to Palestine almost to a total halt," he said.

In view of that the next OIC Summit must be able to again consolidate the attention and support of OIC member countries towards the Palestinian problems and its independence struggle, he said.

"The conference must be able to lay out a new road map towards Palestinian independence and not a mere declaration or resolution," he said.

Palestine and Al Quds are scheduled to be discussed at the summit at the Jakarta Convention Center.

Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi said his government hoped the summit would produce concrete steps to settle the two issues.

"The Indonesian government has shown its leadership in calling for international efforts to find the solutions to the Palestinian and Jerusalem problems. We are waiting for the implementation of the meeting," he said.

As host, Indonesia would propose two documents in the form of a Resolution and a Declaration for adoption as the results of the summit, she said.

Until now 47 countries out of 56 member countries of the OIC, two observer countries, five state representatives from UN Security Council and UN special envoy in the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiation Quartet, have confirmed their presence at the summit.

Some 527 Indonesian and foreign journalists are expected to cover the event.

There will be 391 journalists from Indonesia and 136 journalists from foreign nations (covering the event), Djoko Agung Harijadi, Director General of Information and Public Communication of the Communication and Informatics Ministry, informed the press, here Thursday.

The foreign reporters would come from Japan, Britain, China, and Australia, apart from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Qatar, among others.

The Indonesian authorities have beefed up security measures in Jakarta and surrounding areas in connection with the summit.

Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), General Gatot Nurmantyo, has instructed officers to adopt tighter security measures for the Summit, particularly to protect VVIPs.

"This task of the officers is not a routine or a regular one, but is a crucial task as it directly concerns the honor and reputation of Indonesia at the international level. I will personally lead it along with the security apparatuses of the Jakarta Military Command and the Jakarta Police," he affirmed at the National Monument Square (Monas) March 1, while leading a roll call of the officers in charge of securing the summit.

The ceremony was attended by 10,150 military and police officers. Chiefs of Staff of the Army General Mulyono, the Navy Admiral Ade Supandi, and the Air Force Marshal Agus Supriatna were also present at the event.

The security measures will encompass anticipating traffic accidents, anarchic rallies, riots, and terror acts, in addition to sabotage, conventional and transnational crimes, hostage situations, and kidnappings. They will also encompass ambushes and bombings.

Nurmantyo ordered the personnel to stay alert for any indications of terror attacks.

"Any form of vulnerability must not be tolerated. If there is a hint of vulnerability, then the officers must implement security measures in accordance with the existing procedures," he stated.

(Reporting by Yuni Arisandy/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/O001)