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Indonesia supports Palestine's full UN membership

Jakarta Post - April 4, 2024

Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – Indonesia supports Palestine's bid to become a full member of the United Nations and has lobbied other countries to vote in favor of the membership, the Foreign Ministry said following a fresh request by Palestine to elevate its status from a nonmember observer state.

Promoting the recognition of Palestinian statehood has always been among Indonesia's top foreign policy goals, the ministry said.

Amid persistent global ire over Israel's ongoing siege of Gaza, the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday sent an application for full membership at the UN, where it has for the past 12 years been participating in but without the ability to vote on resolutions.

The request letter made to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres comes as the war between Israel and Palestine's militant group Hamas enters its six months, with the latest death toll exceeding 33,000 people in Gaza and over 1,100 people in Israel.

The letter, sent by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, "demanded" that the discussions on the membership take place "this month".

Indonesia, a fervent advocate of the Palestinian cause, said on Wednesday that it not only fully supported the membership bid, but had also lobbied numerous countries to do the same.

"We have undertaken these efforts for a while now," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lalu M. Iqbal told The Jakarta Post.

"The full membership of Palestine at the UN is an issue that we will bring up in all discussions. We have indeed encouraged many countries," he said.

To become a full member, Palestine will have to first secure approval from the UN Security Council, where the United States, Israel's most significant ally, can cast a veto. Two-thirds of the 193 countries at the General Assembly will then have to vote in Palestine's favor.

Palestine's first request for full UN membership in 2011 was thwarted by a veto from the US. Diplomats participating in the vote attributed it to the lack of support received by Palestine.

On Tuesday, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Arab League sent a joint letter to Guterres declaring their support for Palestine's bid.

"We wish to bring to your attention that, as of this date, 140 [UN] member states have recognized the State of Palestine," the letter said.

The continued siege of Gaza has polarized the global community in recent months and has sparked a wave of domestic pressure all over the world pushing for a permanent cease-fire and progress on the two-state solution.

On Tuesday, reports emerged that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told journalists that Spain would recognize Palestinian statehood in July. He also added that the European Union would likely be faced with an internal "critical mass" to similarly push for Palestinian recognition sometime soon.

Indonesia is a member of both the OIC and the NAM, and has been intensely working its diplomatic muscle to promote the Palestinian cause, especially after the Oct. 7 attack when Hamas' surprise assault against Israel was returned with Tel Aviv's wrathful reprise.

Following an hour-long discussion on Gaza with several envoys from 13 Arabic countries on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi was given an award for her diplomatic contributions to the Palestinian cause, including for her consistency in promoting its full membership at the UN.

On Wednesday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo sent another batch of humanitarian aid for Gaza and Sudan, which included medical needs and other donations valued at Rp 30 billion (US$1.9 million).

"We continue to be concerned with the humanitarian situation in Gaza," Jokowi said at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in Jakarta. "We hope that this aid could alleviate [some pain] of our brothers and sisters in need."

Source: https://asianews.network/indonesia-supports-palestines-full-un-membership