Jakarta (ANTARA) - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has expressed his readiness to fly to Cairo, Egypt, to conduct technical coordination regarding the deployment of the Indonesian Defense Forces' (TNI's) hospital ship and other humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

The minister will report his plan to President Joko Widodo, other ministers, and institutions.

"With the President's permission, I am ready to go to Cairo for coordination with the Egyptian Minister of Defense and maybe, meet other figures in the region," he informed after receiving a visit from the Egyptian Ambassador to Indonesia, Ashraf Sulthan, at the Defense Ministry office in Jakarta on Monday.

He said that one of the obstacles to sending aid to the Gaza Strip is the border access between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

However, he assured that the border gate would be opened once he held discussions there.

"We will also coordinate with other parties such as the United Nations and others," he added.

When asked about which hospital ship would be deployed, Subianto said he is still discussing the matter. Currently, Indonesia has three hospital ships: Indonesian War Ship (KRI) Dr. Soeharso, KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo and KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat.

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On the same occasion, Ambassador Sulthan said that Palestine requires considerable humanitarian assistance considering the tragic situation developing in the region.

"The situation in Gaza is now very tragic. They are in need of food, water, medical supplies, fuel, and others," he informed.

The ambassador then said that Egypt is very open to receiving all humanitarian aid coming from Indonesia before it is sent to the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

"Minister Subianto and I were discussing other options of sending aid to Gaza as well," he added.

He further said that Egypt appreciates Indonesia's initiative and support for crisis-hit Palestine.

"It is very important that we show solidarity with the Palestinian people who are experiencing difficulties," he added.

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Translator: Hendri Sukma I, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Arie Novarina
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