by Fardah

Jakarta (Antara News) - Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Friday (Feb 28) for an official visit and to participate in the Second Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD II).

"On Friday, the Prime Minister will attend Friday prayers in Istiqlal Grand Mosque, pay homage to the Kalibata heroes cemetery, hold a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and attend a state banquet to be hosted by the Indonesian president," Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi told Antara at his office, Wednesday.

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will lead the Palestinian governments delegation that includes the foreign minister, the minister of economy, the minister of planning and administrative development, and other advisers . This will be his first visit to Indonesia since he was appointed as the Palestinian prime minister in June 2013.

Hamdallah and Yudhoyono are expected to discuss and exchange views over the current situation in Palestine and other relevant topics concerning the peace efforts. The bilateral cooperation will be at the center of the talks and several Memoranda of Understanding of cooperation between the two countries could be signed.

On Saturday (March 1), the two leaders are scheduled to give key speeches in the opening ceremony of the CEAPAD II which will identify the expectations of Palestine and what capacities that CEAPADs member countries could offer to help Palestine in building a viable state with a solid institutions and active economy.

Palestine could learn from various member states in east Asia their experiences in development in various fields and sectors of economy and starts to establish a meaningful partnership with these friendly fast growing countries .

He said Indonesia has been a champion in supporting Palestine in capacity building. Over 1,000 Palestinians from various national institutions have undergone training programs in Indonesia during the last five years within the framework of the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) which was organized by the Indonesian government.

The Indonesian education ministry has also provided scholarships for Palestine for PhD and Master degrees in prominent universities such as the University of Gajah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, the University of Diponegoro in Semarang and the University of Brawijaya in Malang, ITS in Surabaya, and UNS in Solo.

Besides, 16 Palestinians are also currently studying in Muhammadiyah University in Solo under another scholarship scheme, he added.

Coinciding with the Conference, a two-day CEAPAD Business Meeting and Trade Expo will be organized at Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta, from March 1 to 2, 2014, by the foreign ministry in cooperation with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

The Trade Expo will be participated in by 29 Palestinian companies which will display their products such as food products, pharmaceuticals products (medicines), glass wear, stone marbles, handicraft, dates, and olive oil, which is classified as one of the best in quality in the world.

Palestinian tourism will also be promoted during the expo, he said, adding that last year, some 48 thousand Indonesian tourists visited Palestine.

During the Business Forum, Indonesian and Palestinian businessmen will discuss trade and investment opportunities, and on the occasion, Indonesian-Palestinian Business Council will be launched, Ambassador Mehdawi said.

More delegations will be participating in the CEAPAD II than those attending the CEAPAD I which was held last year in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam and other ASEAN member States are most likely to attend the conference.

A number of countries who are known to be among the traditional supporters of Palestine like China and India have also indicated their interest in participating in the CEAPAD II.

Representatives of international organizations such as the UN, the Arab League, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the Quartet Office (UK), the United States, Australia, Norway, Turkey and a number of Arab states are also expected attend the meeting as observers/guests. ***1***
T. F001/A/A014) 26-02-2014 08:54:31

Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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