On the heels of a landmark United Nations General Assembly vote elevating the Palestinian Authority’s international standing, Indonesia says it will consider opening diplomatic ties with Israel only if Palestine becomes a fully independent nation with full UN membership.
Commenting on the UN General Assembly meeting on Thursday (early Friday in Jakarta) that overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia warmly welcomed the historic event.
Indonesia was among 63 nations that had proposed the resolution upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s observer status at the UN to “non-member state,” from “entity.”
“This is a very critical step to realize the principle of a two-state solution, in which the nations of Palestine and Israel live side by side in peace,” Marty told the Indonesian news portal antaranews.com after the UN meeting in New York.
“We will continue to work with other countries to secure a full membership for Palestine at the UN,” he added.
Thursday’s resolution was supported by 138 out of 193 member states of the UN General Assembly. Forty-one nations abstained, and nine countries, including the United States and Israel, were opposed. The United States and Israel had threatened to punish the Palestinians by withholding funds for the West Bank government if the assembly approved the elevated status.
Indonesia, on the other hand, said it would not recognize Israel’s sovereignty until Palestine gained full UN membership as a fully independent nation.
“So all discourses and views regarding [Indonesia’s] diplomatic ties with Israel, as well as Indonesia’s recognition of Israel as a state, will only be relevant, will only take place and turn from a discourse into a reality after a fully independent Palestinian state is established,” said Marty, the chief diplomat of the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
He added that Palestine’s status upgrade was expected to encourage the international community to pressure Israel to end its armed aggression in the Palestinian territories.