Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia, a staunch supporter of Palestine, will use the Asia-Africa Conferences 60th Commemoration, a major gathering of at least 32 leaders of Asian and African countries, to showcase its moral support for Palestinian people who are still under occupation.

During the Asia-Africa Conference 2015 held in Jakarta and Bandung, April 19-24, 2015, Indonesia and other countries in the two continents will reiterate political solidarity and moral support for Palestine, according to Siti Nugraha Mauludiah, the Indonesian foreign affairs ministrys director for technical cooperation, recently.

The solidarity and support are in accordance with the spirit of the Bandung Conference which is totally against any colonialism and occupation on Earth.

"We believe a declaration on support for Palestines independence will be fully adopted by all participants. If the Asian and African countries have recognized Palestines independence, it will be a booster to other nations to give their recognition, too," she said when speaking in a seminar on "Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity" in Jakarta, on April 15, 2915.

Indonesia is organizing a series of events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference (AAC) taking place in Jakarta and Bandung, on April 19-25, 2015.

Some 32 world leaders are to attend the AAC Summit on April 22 and 23. The leaders who have confirmed their attendance include those from Brunei Darussalam, Jordan, Swaziland, China, North Korea, Iran, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Namibia, Sudan, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Gabon, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Singapore, and Thailand.

Six countries, namely Algeria, Angola, Liberia, the Philippines, Seychelles, and Zambia, will send deputy heads of state or government.

The Asia-Africa Conference (ACC) was first organized in Bandung, West Java, on April 18-24, 1955, at the initiative of Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan.

It was seen as a symbol of freeing countries from colonialism, besides being a symbol of resurgence of Asian and African nations.

Some 29 countries representing more than half of the worlds population had sent their delegates to the conference. The conference resulted in the "Dasasila" Bandung, or the 10-points Bandung Declaration, on the Promotion of World Peace and Cooperation.

Sixty years since the conference, all countries have been freed and gained their independence except for Palestine.

Israeli Zionists has illegally occupied Palestine for the past 68 years with the support of its main ally the United States and some other western countries such as Britain, Canada, France, Australia, and Germany.

Palestinians, particularly women and children, have suffered terribly due to Israeli attacks, abuses and illegal detentions.

Approximately 300 Palestinian children are being held captive in Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian Permanent Observer Mission to the UN as quoted on http://palestineun.org.

A total of at least 1,266 Palestinian children were detained by the occupying forces in the West Bank, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, during 2014, with the majority between the ages of 12 and 15.

According to UNICEF, in the past decade, Israel has detained "an average of two children per day". Moreover, it has been documented that around 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israel since the year 2000, with the number of child detainees increasing by 87 percent over the past three years in specific.

Some 1,517 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli occupation since 2000.

During the AAC 2015s Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held on April 19, 2015, officials of 86 Asian and African countries agreed on a draft declaration reiterating support for Palestines independence.

The draft declaration on Palestine will be submitted to heads of government/state at the Asian and African Leaders Summit for final approval, spokesman of the Indonesian foreign affairs ministry Arrmanatha C Nasir said.

"Everyone agrees on (independence of) Palestine, no one has objection. In fact, the support has been there since long time ago," he said.

Another important result of the meeting is a commitment of the Asian and African states to provide capacity building assistance for Palestine in preparing its freedom.

A political observer has lauded Indonesias plan to demonstrate its moral support for Palestine in the major international event.

"Moral support for Palestine is very important. Its crucial to highlight that Palestine is still being occupied and needs international support to address the problem," Siti Mutiah Setiawati of the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) said.

Since the administration of the first president, Soekarno, Indonesia has been supporting Palestine in her struggle for independence, Setiawati, deputy chairperson of the Middle East Study of the UGMs Post Graduate Department, noted.

This time, Indonesia will remind the world that Palestine is still being occupied by Israel. Indonesia insists that the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime must end.

The future generation must not be confused by a wrong perception depicting Palestine as a trouble maker for establishing a freedom fighter organization called Hamas, she noted.

In the meantime, Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz N. Mehdawi has expressed his appreciation to Indonesia for highlighting the Palestinian occupation at the Asian and African Leaders Summit.

"We hope that the commemoration of the Asia-Africa Conference can affirm and confirm an independent Palestine. Palestine is the only nation at the Asia-Africa Conference that has yet to gain complete independence," Fariz N. Mehdawi told Antara on April 15.

He believed that Palestine should be recognized by all countries in the world.

"The leaders of Asian and African countries have stated that the spirit of Bandung is still alive. We are committed to fighting for freedom and justice to all nations," he affirmed.

The ambassador thanked the Indonesian government for accomplishing its commitment to training one thousand Palestinians in five years. "Now we are going to commit to another five years of training," he remarked.

Mehdawi affirmed that the Palestinian government requires more political support to rebuild infrastructure and institutions in Gaza.

"We are looking forward to enhancing tourism, trade, economy, and so on. Therefore, we need a full membership of the United Nations, and for this, we are banking on the support of Asian-African members," he said.

Palestine is to be represented by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the AAC Summit to be held in Jakarta, April 22-23, 2015.

According to Mehdawi, Hamdalah will lead the Palestinian delegation comprising Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad al-Malki and several advisers and officials.

"Palestines attendance at the Asia-Africa Conference is very crucial. Syeikh Muhammad Amin Al-Husaini from Palestine had attended the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung in April 1955. Palestine had supported Indonesias independence several decades ago," he affirmed. (*)
(T.F001/A/F001/B003) 19-04-2015 22:43:12

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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