Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Alwi Shihab hopes Indonesia will take up the Palestinian issue at the UN, especially in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020.

"It is certainly better if there is an opportunity for improvement. Especially now, when we are very concerned about the situation in Gaza, and with President Trump recognizing Golan as part of Israel," Shihab said at the Embassy of Palestine in Jakarta on Thursday.

Shihab, who was interviewed on the sidelines of Palestine’s Land Day and the Isra’ Mi’raj celebration at the Embassy of Palestine, stated that Indonesia’s current position as a non-permanent member, which will assume presidency of the UN Security Council in May is strategic, as it could voice the rights of Palestinians on the international stage, along with Indonesia’s national interests.

“We expect Indonesia, who is a member of the UN Security Council, to call on (the world) and reject Trump for his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Golan’s annexation, which are against international norms and laws,” he noted.

The former foreign affairs minister, part of President Abdurrahman Wahid's administration, added that Indonesia's support to Palestine is in line with the 1945 Constitution, which states that independence is a fundamental right for every nation.

Interviewed separately, Ambassador of Palestine to Indonesia Zuhair Al Shun appreciated Indonesia’s continuous support for Palestine’s independence, both bilaterally and internationally.

“Not only is Indonesia supporting our political interests on the international stage, but it is also preparing us to become an independent nation," said Al Shun.

Regarding Indonesia’s support at the UN, where Palestine is still an “observer", Al Shun hoped that Indonesia's presidency at the UN Security Council could benefit the Palestinian struggle, and help it become an independent state.

However, Al Shun was yet to answer whether Palestine would submit its candidacy as a member of the UN during Indonesia’s presidency in May 2019.

“Let's see the progress, but we certainly appreciate any kind of support from Indonesia,” he noted.


Translator: Azizah Fitriyanti
Editor: Eliswan Azly
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