Hopes voiced ahead of OIC Summit

Hopes voiced ahead of OIC Summit

Photo document of a girl form a peace symbol with her fingers while carrying a poster "Freedom For Palestine" when following the protest at the United Nations office in Jakarta. Palestinian independence into one agenda on OIC Summit in Jakarta, March 6 to 7, 2016. (ANTARA/Muhammad Adimaja)

What is important for Indonesia is how Hamas and Fatah, West Bank and Gaza, would unite."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Many quarters in Indonesia have expressed various hopes with regard to the 5th extraordinary OIC Summit scheduled here on March 6 and 7, 2016.

The summit must be able to resolve the problem of Palestine, a legislator said here Saturday.

The OIC member countries must have a strong commitment to urge the United Nations to side with Palestine which has been the target of Israeli Zionist aggression, legislator Rofi Munawar, who is also the Inter-parliamentary Cooperation Board (BKSAP) deputy chairman, said.

Munawar has asked the Government of Indonesia to seriously encourage OIC member states to defend the sovereignty of Palestine as an independent state.

It was time for the OIC member states to be able to develop the network, strengthen solidarity and common commitment to fight for Palestinian sovereignty in various international forums.

"Palestinian issues have long been raised together with the establishment of the OIC, but the conflict in Palestine continues to happen in conjunction with the worsening situation in the Middle East region in general," he said.

Presidential Special Representative to the Middle East, Alwi Shihab said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should make every effort to open international eyes to the cruelty of Israel against Palestine.

"The OIC extraordinary summit meeting in Jakarta from Sunday to Monday is an opportunity for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to open international eyes to Israeli cruelty against Palestine," Shihab said here Friday night.

Israel has violated the norms of humanity by committing violent acts against the Palestinians, according to him.

"Therefore, the OIC summit meeting is a good opportunity for us to convey the issue to the world," he said, and added that there will be more discussions regarding the fate of the Palestinians which has been overtaken by other issues such as Arab Spring.

One large homework for the members of OIC is the matter of common vision of Islamic countries, and the other issue is the division within the Palestinian authority namely Fatah and Hamas, Shihab noted.

Indonesia plans to encourage leaders of Hamas and Fatah at the OIC summit meeting to reconcile with each other to realize to goal of Palestinian independence, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in Makassar, South Sulawesi Friday.

"The OIC Extraordinary Summit will discuss Palestine with regard to settling conflicts. What is important for Indonesia is how Hamas and Fatah, West Bank and Gaza, would unite," Kalla said.

If the leaders of the Palestinian groups continued to argue, it would be difficult for Islamic countries to support Palestinian independence, he said.

"If they are still separated and involved in conflict, how can they solve their own problems?" he asked.

The Indonesian government as the host of the summit will propose two outcome documents as the summits results.

"We have sent the drafts to all OIC member countries, observers and other invited participants," Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General of Multilateral Cooperation, Hassan Kleib during a press briefing here Thursday.

Indonesia will host the fifth OIC Extraordinary Meeting on Palestine and Al Quds in Jakarta Convention Center on March 6 and 7.

The two outcome documents, namely OIC Extraordinary Meeting on Palestine and Al Quds Resolution and Declaration, would be discussed during the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on March 6, and then adopted by the leaders on March 7, Hassan explained.

The resolution will be adopted to reaffirm the Islamic states stance on supporting Palestinian independence and the status of Jerusalem, while the declaration would express the OICs commitment to follow up on the results of the meeting.

"We hope the meeting in March will not be just an event, but a process to support Palestinian independence and the peace process in Jerusalem," Hassan added.

However, he underlined that the outcome documents would be not be legally binding as the only international organization that can impose sanctions for any resolution is the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council.

"Even though it is just politically and morally binding, we can reach a stronger consensus and offer solid support for Palestine," he said.

The upcoming extraordinary summit should be able to produce concrete decisions to realize the independence of Palestine, according to a political observer, a lecturer from state University of Indonesia, Yon Machmudi, said.

"Let us say that the summit will produce a Jakarta Declaration. So, the declaration has to be implemented soon and be supported fully by the OIC member countries," he said Wednesday.

The occupation of Palestine by Israel is a serious problem that has to be solved fairly, he emphasized.

Every member country of the OIC has a moral obligation to help realize an independent and sovereign state of Palestine, he stated.

The existence of OIC will be judged based on its success in helping to realize a free Palestine as the grouping was established in response to acts of vandalism by Israel on the Al Aqsa Mosque, he added.

"The Al Aqsa Mosque will be constantly threatened as long as Palestine does not have the right of self-determination, including the right to protect Al Aqsa," the lecturer of the Faculty of Culture of the UI emphasized.

Since the establishment of the OIC 45 years ago, Palestine has still not gained independence and, in fact, Israel has been more brutal in occupying Palestinian land, he pointed out.

Therefore, it is time for Indonesia to play a crucial role by initiating a new declaration that could offer a concrete solution for the independence of Palestine and, in particular, for the protection of Al Aqsa Mosque, he remarked.

Indonesia should initiate a new leadership in the OIC to push for a new commitment to supporting the realization of Palestines independence by conducting synergy at the international and regional level, he suggested.

"The support must be clear, concrete, and measurable, so the meeting will not end merely on paper. Hopefully, the Jakarta Declaration will become an historic moment for the Palestinian people," he added.

The chairman of the executive board of the Indonesia Mosques Council (DMI), Natsir Zubaidi, meanwhile expressed hope that the summit would also discuss Syria, Yemen and ISIS besides Palestine.

Indonesia would play a big role in the summit, so that its position must be used to also solve actual problems in the Middle East besides Palestine, he said in a press release received Friday.

A Middle East observer from University of Indonesia, Cholil Nafis, has expressed hope for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian conflicts.

He expressed support for Indonesia to play a role in solving the problem. "As the host of the summit, Indonesia needs to play a role in the settlement of the conflict," he said at Al-Hikam Islamic boarding school in Depok, West Java Thursday.

The settlement of the Palestinian conflict is a mandate of the Indonesian constitution and "it will also be the realization of the pledge of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to help settle the Palestinian conflict made during the presidential campaign," he said.

The Palestinian problem is not only just a religious one but also a humanitarian and occupation problem which could not be condoned.

"Colonialism must be wiped out in the world because it is against human rights," he said.
(Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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