Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia will persistently prioritize the issue of Palestine at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as its membership on the council ends on December 31, 2020, a foreign affairs ministry’s official stated.

"We will ensure regular meetings at the UN Security Council, and the issue of Palestine will continue to emerge. We do not hesitate to hold additional events and submit press statements. However, unfortunately, a consensus (to issue a joint press release) is necessary, and some countries still refuse to do that," Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Director of International Security and Disarmament, Rolliansyah Soemirat, stated during a virtual media gathering here on Friday.

Soemirat explained that Indonesia's stance to prioritize the issue of Palestine in global forums will remain unwavering, although several Arab countries have currently begun initiating official diplomatic relations with Israel.

"We will remain consistent with our principles since the 1955 Asian-African Conference and (the issue of) Palestine is our biggest debt," Soemirat remarked.

Soemirat also responded to the insistence of several young Palestinian scholars and activists, so that the international community recognizes that Israel is colonizing the Palestinian nation and is not merely a forced occupation or annexation of territory.

"This is a very valid concern, and that is what we are also concerned about. We like to use the term creeping annexation. Hence, Indonesia will continue to encourage the international community to always keep an eye on this problem together," he stated.

The Indonesian government has urged Palestinian people and leaders to unify in their fight for independence.

"We want them to present a clear position, which is united and not divided," he affirmed.

On the same occasion, Director General of Multilateral Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Febrian A. Ruddyard, reminded that supporting Palestine in international forums is a stance firmly rooted in the mandate of the Indonesian Constitution.

"The issue of Palestine is not a situational matter, but it is related to our Constitution: Colonialism on Earth must be abolished. To this end, we will always strive to make the maximum contribution to the settlement of the Palestinian issue," he reiterated.

In 2020, the Indonesian government offered financial assistance to the Palestinian authority, including a commitment of US$1 million (around Rp14.67 billion) for handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Indonesia remains committed to providing US$1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as well as a commitment of aid worth US$500 thousand (some Rp7.34 billion) for Palestine, submitted through the International Red Cross (ICRC), he stated.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry's Director of Human Rights and Humanity, Achsanul Habib, noted that Palestine was not included on the UN list of countries that needed to be freed from colonialism.

Hence, Habib pointed to existing difficulties for the international community to state lucidly that Israel is practicing colonialism against the Palestinian people.

"The list highlights 17 areas that need to be decolonized, and Palestine is not legally included on the list," Habib pointed out.

The Indonesian government has continued to accentuate support for Palestinian independence and to condemn all types of violations of human rights and international law committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

"Palestine is the only country present at the Bandung Conference but has not enjoyed its independence until now. Indonesia continues to be consistent in providing support for Palestine to obtain its rights," President Joko Widodo stated during a video recording broadcast at the 75th General Session of the UN General Assembly on Sept 23, 2020. Related news: Jokowi's UN speech accentuates Indonesia's support for Palestine
Related news: Indonesia's stance on Palestine remains unwavering: foreign ministry

Translator: Genta TM, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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