RIYADH: The people of Palestine matter and the focus should be on civilians dying from Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, says Abdul Aziz Ahmad, the ambassador of Indonesia to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at a reception at the Indonesian Embassy to commemorate the country’s 78th Independence Day, he said: “Although we are celebrating the progress and advancement of our nations’ bilateral relations, we could not turn a blind eye to what happens to our brothers and sisters in Gaza, Palestine.
“Indonesia has urged the cessation of violence in order to provide secure and open humanitarian access for international assistance to enter into Gaza.
“By the time this message is delivered, I wish to announce that Indonesia has prepared for a humanitarian assistance mission to deliver basic sustenance and medicine for those civilians in need in Gaza.”
The ambassador added: “Indonesia also remains vigilant to support the two-state solution based on the principle of international law and relevant United Nations resolution for everlasting peace in Palestine.”
Ahmad noted that the recent ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Summit marked a historic achievement.
He said: “On behalf of the government of Indonesia, I would like to convey utmost gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime minister, and the government of Saudi Arabia for the success and excellent arrangement of the ASEAN-GCC Summit on Oct. 20.
“There have been many positive outcomes from the bilateral meeting between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia on Oct. 19. Various topics ranging from trade and investment, tourism, culture, Hajj, halal products, sports, and foreign affairs were discussed during the meeting.”
Four memorandums of understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two countries were signed on the sidelines of the meeting: the establishment of the Supreme Coordination Council, one regarding halal products, another on sports and youth, and one relating to a technical cooperation program aimed at standardization of agencies within the two countries.
Ahmad added: “The Supreme Coordination Council will be the highest bilateral mechanism between the two countries and will be co-chaired by President Joko Widodo and the crown prince.
“The ASEAN-GCC Summit has indeed marked a historic achievement and has elevated the level of cooperation between the two regions (to a level) where all leaders of ASEAN and GCC agreed to hold the summit every two years.
“The next ASEAN-GCC summit is scheduled to be held in Malaysia in 2025. Positive outcomes were made during the summit, where the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation under the ASEAN-GCC Framework of Cooperation (2024-2028) in the field of trade and investment, tourism, agriculture, connectivity, culture, information, and education.”
He added: “I would like to convey my utmost appreciation to King Salman and the crown prince for their wisdom so that the cordial and friendly relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are well preserved.
“(I also) convey my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all government officials and people of Saudi Arabia for their assistance and support to all Indonesians living in Saudi Arabia.”