NAM Meeting In Bali Momentum To Garner Support For Palestine

NAM Meeting In Bali Momentum To Garner Support For Palestine

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa. (FOTO. ANTARA)

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - Palestine has always been a topic in Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meetings, and this is also the case at the ongoing 16th NAM Ministerial Meeting in Bali which reaffirms support  for an independent state of Palestine.

The NAM meeting which also marks with the 50th anniversary of the Movement, on Wednesday (May 25) adopted  a "Bali Commemorative Declaration" including on Palestine.   

NAM member states said they would remain at the forefront of support for the Palestinian people to realize freedom, peace and justice, in line with the long-standing international consensus recognizing the Palestinian people as a nation. 

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Abdalla El-Araby on the sidelines of the NAM Meeting, Tuesday (May 24) discussed efforts to partner in advancing and supporting a concrete peace process in Palestine.

Indonesia and Egypt were doing their best to ask Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members to recognize and support the existence of Palestine, Marty said after the meeting with his Egyptian counterpart.

Marty said that Indonesia and Egypt agreed to share the tasks to encourage countries in their respective regions to recognize Palestine.

"We have sorted out countries in the regions which have not yet recognized Palestine," Marty said.

He said that NAM has so far consistently supported the existence of Palestine but there are still 29 members which have not yet recognized for various reasons.

The 16th ministerial meeting of NAM in Bali (May 23-27, 2011) is a new momentum for the countries which have not yet recognized Palestine to recognize it, Minister Marty stated.

Minister Nabil Abdalla El-Araby of Egypt, as the current chairman of NAM, in his remarks in the NAM Meeting opening, called on the NAM member states to make the Palestinian issue a priority.

Similar information also came from Indonesian Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Hasan Kleib at Nua Dua, Tuesday (May 24).  Indonesia in the Bali meeting will encourage other NAM member countries to support the independence of Palestine, he said, adding that this September Palestine plans to go to the UN General Assembly for recognition of its independence.

"However, the problem is that there are still 79 countries which have not recognized Palestine. From the 79 countries, 29 are NAM members. This is the significant of the meeting and at the same time the central role of Indonesia is at stake," the ambassador said.

At present, around 60 percent of the United Nations (UN) members are NAM members.

"In the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2009, Palestine has been requested to prepare its independence (within two years) including the national reconciliation. For that purpose, Indonesia has trained around 10,000 Palestinians to prepare themselves for an independent Palestine," the ambassador said.

The NAM discussion on the Palestinian issue will be followed up at the NAM Summit in Tehran, Iran, in 2012, Ambassador Hassan Kleib said.

For years, the Palestinians have been collecting recognition of a state of Palestine from individual countries - and so far 112 nations have done so, mostly in the developing world.

Being tired of prolonged supposedly peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel colonizer, support for an independent Palestine is rising in Latin American, Asian and European governments.

A string of Latin American countries such as Brazil, Argentine, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Chile, and Uruguay have recently recognized the Palestinian state.

Venezuela had recognized Palestine earlier, as had three other Latin American countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

The Palestinians hopes they will have 135 recognitions by September - more than two-thirds of the 192 U.N. member states.

Apart from the issue on Palestine`s independence, the faith of more than 600 Palestinian political prisoners, including legislators, in Israeli jails is also to be discussed in the Bali NAM meeting. A Palestinian minister participating in the NAM meeting is expected to give information on the issue.

"Previously in New York, we discussed this matter. This meeting is a follow up of the last year meeting in New York," he said.

The UN General Assembly did not allow Palestine to propose a resolution because it is still considered not an independent state. Therefore, Indonesia, a staunch supporter of Palestine, will play an important role to put forward the resolution concerning the Palestinian political prisoners, he said.

The NAM was founded in 1961 at its inaugural summit in Belgrade, capital of former Yugoslavia with 25 founding member countries, namely Afghanistan, Algeria, Yemen, Myanmar, Cambodia, Srilanka, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia.

Josep Broz Tito of then Yugoslavia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Sukarno of Indonesia, and Kwame Nkruma of Ghana were among the founders of NAM.

The theme of the 16th NAM ministerial meeting and the Commemorative meeting is "Shared Vision on the Contribution of NAM for The next 50 years."

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his opening speech before delegates of the NAM meeting in Bali, Wednesday (May 25) said the Non-Aligned Movement did more than just avoiding or surviving the Cold War.

NAM has helped shape the world order, contained the spread of conflicts, and preserved and expanded peace where it could, he said.

"We also successfully advanced decolonization by supporting the struggle of nations for liberation and self-determination. We effectively helped to end apartheid," President Yudhoyono stated.

Will NAM be able to help deliver an independence state of Palestine this year? (*)

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