Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia, a staunch supporter of Palestine
in its struggle for independence, has viewed the first visit of
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Jakarta as a momentum to
reaffirm its commitment to assisting Palestine.
Rami Hamdallah, who is on an official visit to Indonesia until March 2,
held a tete-a-tete with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday
afternoon (Feb. 28).
"I believe that our friendship, cooperation and partnership will be improved in the future," Yudhoyono told his guest.
is Hamdallah's first visit to Indonesia since he became the prime
minister in June 2013. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited
Jakarta twice, in October 2007 and May 2010, respectively.
Following the tete-a-tete, Yudhoyono and Hamdallah held a bilateral
meeting, which was attended by the delegates of the two countries.
The Palestinian delegation comprised Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad
Malki, National Economic Minister Jawad N.A. Hirzallah, Planning and
Administrative Development Minister Mohammad Abu Ramadan, and
Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz N. Mehdawi.
Yudhoyono was accompanied, among others, by Foreign Affairs Minister
Marty Natalegawa, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and
Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, and Chief Economic Minister Hatta
In the meeting, the two leaders agreed to boost bilateral cooperation
in the fields of politics, economy, and people-to-people contact, such
as in the education and tourism fields.
remarked that Indonesia will increase economic cooperation with
Palestine, in addition to boosting cooperation in two other sectors.
"In the economic field, Indonesia and Palestine have agreed to increase
cooperation in the future. We hope to explore new opportunities. We
also discussed future cooperation in the oil and gas as well as other
sectors," the Indonesian head of state claimed.
Yudhoyono hoped that a Joint Business Council between Indonesia and
Palestine, which will be launched on March 1, 2014, will be able to
explore new business opportunities.
"Our bilateral ties are sound and we have made a lot of progress. It is
our responsibility to maintain and explore new cooperation
opportunities," President Yudhoyono stated at a joint press conference
with Prime Minister Hamdallah at the Merdeka Palace following the
the political field, Indonesia has emphasized its commitment as well as
proactive and active support to help realize an independent and
sovereign state of Palestine under a two-state solution concept. That's
Indonesia's position, and Indonesia will contribute to that effort,"
Indonesia was pleased that Palestine has gained an observer state
status in the United States and full membership of the UNESCO, he
remarked. "And we hope that Palestine will soon become a member of other
international organizations too," the Indonesian head of state added.
"Indonesia believes that Palestine will develop into an advanced
country. We also hope that an independent Palestinian state will be soon
realized," he asserted.
Prime Minister Hamdallah lauded the Indonesian government and people
for their endless support to Palestine. He particularly expressed his
gratitude to Indonesia for providing capacity building programs for a
number of Palestinian civil servants.
the past five years, the Indonesian government has trained at least
1,257 Palestinians within the framework of the New Asian African
Strategic Partnership (NAASP).
Hamdallah also noted that the
bilateral meeting just held between him and President Yudhoyono was
important. "This is an important meeting, and we hope that the
bilateral cooperation between Palestine and Indonesia can become an
example of cooperation between Palestine and other countries," he
After holding a bilateral meeting, the two leaders
witnessed the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on the
economic, education, and tourism cooperation.
Hamdallah invited more Indonesian tourists to visit his country in a bid to boost the Palestinian economy.
"It is important for us. This is moral and material support for us.
Last year, 48 thousand Indonesian tourists visited Palestine. We hope
that there will be more Indonesian tourists visiting Palestine,"
Yudhoyono shared the view of Hamdallah
regarding the need to increase the number of Indonesian tourists to
visit Palestine. "This is good and must be boosted in the future," the
The Palestinian prime minister will be
participating in the Second Conference on Cooperation among East Asian
Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD II) hosted by Indonesia on
Saturday (March 1).
Yudhoyono and Hamdallah are scheduled to deliver keynote speeches
during the opening ceremony of the CEAPAD II, which will highlight the
expectations of Palestine and in what capacity can the CEAPAD member
countries offer assistance to Palestine in building a viable state with
solid institutions and an active economy. The first CEAPAD was
organized in Japan, on February 2013.
"Palestine could learn the experiences of member states in East Asia
in various economic and development fields, and starts to establish a
meaningful partnership with these friendly and fast growing countries,"
Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi told Antara recently.
with the conference is a two-day CEAPAD Business Meeting and Trade Expo
scheduled to be organized at the Hotel Borobudur in Jakarta on March 1
and 2, 2014, by the Indonesian foreign ministry in cooperation with the
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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.
the Business Forum, Indonesian and Palestinian businessmen are expected to discuss
trade and investment opportunities, and on the occasion, an
Indonesian-Palestinian Business Council will be launched. (*)
(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/Suharto) 28-02-2014 23:41:33