Indonesia opposes US recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparking commotion across the Muslim world.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said in a speech at the White House.

Trumps decision fulfilled his campaign promise.

However, international community sees US move could impair any hope of reviving the peace process in Palestine.

reported on Thursday that protest broke out in areas of Jordans capital, Amman, inhabited by Palestinian refugees, and several hundred protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul.

In Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinians burned posters depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against the U.S. intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Prior of the US announcement, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi stated that any move by the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital will endanger the peace process in Palestine.

"Indonesia clearly expressed its deep concern over the issue of the status of Jerusalem. Any change in the status of Jerusalem will endanger the peace process and peace itself," Minister Marsudi noted in her opening remarks during the Seminar and Photo Exhibition of Palestine held at the Pancasila Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

Trump acted under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that accepts Jerusalem as Israels capital and requires the US to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Former President Bill Clinton refused to sign it into law arguing it would hinder the peace process and, therefore, used the legislations waiver authority that allows the president to delay the move for six month.

The waiver was used by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama consistently to put off that decision and to keep the move from happening.

"While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering." claimed Trump.

Trump claimed that recognizing Jerusalem was a long overdue step to advance the peace process vowing to broker the ultimate deal between Israelis and Palestinians but has yet to find a breakthrough to end the conflict.

Following Trumps declaration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday condemned the US decision on Jerusalem.

"Indonesia strongly condemns the United States unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and asks the US to reconsider the decision," Widodo said in a press conference.

The leader of the worlds largest Muslim-majority nation said that the US decision has violated a number of UN resolutions and could shake the global security and stability.

Indonesian Government has again and again emphasized that Indonesia is a strong supporter for the two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with Israel.

"Israel-Palestine reconciliation is the key for unity in Palestine," Minister Marsudi noted.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Designate of the State of Palestine to Indonesia Zuhair al Shun, on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister of Palestine Riyad al Maliki, said the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital was a radical change in its traditional position on the issue of Jerusalem and demanded "immediate and quick action before it is too late."

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki was scheduled to visit Indonesia earlier this week but had to remain in Palestine to monitor the situation on the ground following the US plan of Jerusalems recognition.

"We have decided to continue our struggle," Al-Shun said during the commemoration of International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People in Jakarta last week.

Support for Palestinians

Meanwhile, Indonesia will always be at the forefront in gathering global support and assistance for the Palestinian people, minister Marsudi stated.

The Southasian country remained committed to supporting Palestine through capacity building programs and realizing the independence of Palestine.

As Ambassador Al-Shun reiterated, Palestinian people need not only financial aid but also how to build the society and human resource.

Since 2008, under the framework of the new Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership, Indonesia has contributed no less than US$10 million on capacity building programs for Palestinian people.

This contribution covered as many as 157 capacity building programs, which offered training to more than 1,800 Palestinian people.

The programs focused on sectors, such as small and medium enterprises, disaster management, tourism, diplomatic training, health, womens empowerment, infrastructure, and good governance.

Under the Conference on Cooperation of the East Asian countries for Palestinian Development, co-chaired by Indonesia and Japan, Indonesias technical assistance to Palestine focused on the areas of infrastructure, information and communication technology, tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture.

In 2011, Indonesia had collaborated with the Islamic Development Bank to build an Indonesian cardiac center in Gaza.

"Indonesia will also build a seawater desalination facility in Gaza early next year," Marsudi revealed.

In 2015, an Indonesian Hospital was constructed in Gaza, with donations received from Indonesians and organized by the non-governmental organization, Mer-C.

Marsudi remarked that Indonesia is planning to revoke tariffs on several Palestinian products aimed at empowering Palestines economy.

The message of Indonesia is very clear.

While the Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, two main political parties, offers a promising situation for the peace process in Palestine, the situation in Palestine is reflecting the need for international community to combine and unite effort to assist Palestinian people and their endeavor to reach status as a full independent country.

Indonesia will certainly always carry the Palestinian issue as its top priority in the Indonesias foreign policy, Marsudi remarked.

"I wish to remind every Palestinian that Indonesia will always be behind them that well joint every Palestinian man, women and child in their hope, dream, and prayer," Marsudi said.

Source: ANTARA News

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