Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Algeria condemned Israel for the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip and demanded a permanent ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave that is direly needed by civilians.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her Algerian counterpart, Ahmed Attaf, in a meeting in Algiers, on Wednesday (December 20), also agreed that overcoming the core problem of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territories is crucial to guarantee lasting peace for Palestinians.

"Minister Attaf and I share the same belief that Algeria and Indonesia can continue to work together to defend justice and humanity for Palestinians," Marsudi noted in a written statement.

She expressed optimism that Algeria, which will serve as a member of the UN Security Council for two years starting from January 1, 2024, will do everything to defend Palestinian interests.

In addition to the issue of Palestine, the two ministers also discussed Algeria's interest in joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The treaty is aimed at creating political stability and security in Southeast Asia and has been signed by more than 50 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries, China, Japan, the United States, and Russia.

Minister Marsudi welcomed the interest and stated that she would support Algeria.

Lastly, the two countries also agreed to support each other in multilateral forums, including each other's candidacy in international relations.

"And we agreed that Indonesia and Algeria will continue to support the paradigm of collaboration and prioritize the interests of developing countries and Muslim countries," she remarked.

At least 19,667 Palestinians have been killed and 52,586 others have been injured due to Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health run by the Palestinian armed group Hamas on Tuesday (December 19).

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) noted that nearly 1.9 million people in Gaza, or about 85 percent of the total population, were forced to flee their homes.

Meanwhile, Israel is continuing its attacks after a one-week humanitarian pause that it agreed with Hamas ended on December 1.

Related news: UN resolution points to global pressure for Gaza ceasefire: Marsudi
Related news: Israel's aggression on Palestine not self-defense: Indonesian FM
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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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