Indonesian and Palestinian diplomats meet ahead of emergency meeting over Jerusalem

Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi meeting Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan, on Dec 11. ST PHOTO: DAWN TAN

JAKARTA - Indonesian and Palestinian foreign ministers have met to discuss proposals for Wednesday's (Dec 13) emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in response to United States President Donald Trump's recent decision on Jerusalem.

Last Wednesday, the US President made a controversial announcement by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the historic city regarded as holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Mr Trump's announcement, a reversal of decades of US policy, has been met with angry protests around the world, including in Malaysia and Indonesia.

"In principle, the elements (of proposals) that Palestine and Indonesia will bring to the OIC meeting in Istanbul are very much the same. Therefore we would ask our senior respective officials to work together to prepare draft texts as the proposed outcome of the Istambul meeting," Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi told reporters after meeting her Palestinian counterpart Riyad Al-Maliki in the Jordanian capital Amman at about 3am Singapore time on Tuesday.

The meeting lasted more than two hours. The video of Ms Retno's statement after the meeting was issued by the foreign ministry in Jakarta on Tuesday morning.

Indonesia's top diplomat is in the Jordanian capital as part of a three-nation tour that includes stops in Turkey and Belgium in a bid to garner political support for Palestine. "After the Istanbul meeting, I will travel to Brussels to meet foreign ministers of the European Union. Palestine appreciates Indonesia's diplomacy to help their struggle," Ms Retno also said.

World leaders have also criticised the move by Mr Trump as going against international law, warning that it could set back the peace process and embolden extremists and hardliners.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo strongly condemned Mr Trump's decision, and urged the US to reconsider it.

Leading Islamic, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Confucian figures in Indonesia issued a joint statement on Monday, condemning what they described as a provocative move by Mr Trump.

Claiming the decision violated international resolutions on the position of Jerusalem, the group also called on the international community to put pressure on Mr Trump and his administration to revoke the controversial decision and to cancel his plan to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reported The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

"Trump has ignored the Israel-Palestine peace process that has been built so far, and this will trigger global reactions and will have an impact on the stability and peace of the world," said Reverend Gomar Gultom, the presidium chairman of the Inter-Religions Council and the general secretary of the Indonesian Communion of Churches.

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