Indonesia pushes for UN emergency meeting on Israel-Palestine conflict
Indonesia is seeking an emergency meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to push for a ceasefire and a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East, following the failure of the UN to issue a resolution to stop Israeli strikes in Gaza, a paper said here Tuesday.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying that Indonesia would continue its political and diplomatic efforts to push the council to issue a resolution and force both sides to return to peaceful dialogue.
"But if we can't get a resolution through the Security Council then we will use the alternative of an emergency meeting at the General Assembly to force a ceasefire to stop the hostilities that have claimed many lives," he told reporters at the Presidential Office after meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz N. Mehdawi to discuss what Indonesia could do to help the Palestinian people.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said that Indonesia was now approaching the Non-alliance Movement (NAM), which has 117 members, to gain support to hold the emergency meeting.
"I have sent a letter to our representative at the UN agreeing to his plan to write a letter to NAM chairman asking for the movement's support for an emergency meeting," he said after accompanying the President in his meeting with Mehdawi.
The minister expressed his optimism that the NAM, which consists mostly of developing countries, would back Indonesia's initiative and that the emergency meeting, allowed under Article 51 of the UN Charter, could produce a statement to demand Israel to stop the attacks and force both sides to hold a peaceful dialogue to end the conflict.
He said that with 117 members the NAM was a majority force in the General Assembly and could guarantee the quick action in the UN.
He said that, besides the size of the NAM, Indonesia preferred to get support from them over the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to avoid the suggestion that the Israel-Palestine conflict was about religion, reported Xinhua.