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Bilateral Cooperation

Palestine

Flag of Palestine


I.COUNTRY PROFILE

Official Name
:
State of Palestine
Government Type : Republic
Capital : Jerusalem (As declared in the Declaration of Independence, 1988)
Ramallah (De Facto)
Total Area : 27.000 km2 (1/4 of the size of Java)
National Anthem : Fidaey (Freedom Fighter)
Population : 1.376.289 (Gaza Strip)
2.407.681 (West Bank)
Religion : Islam (98,7%), Christian (0,3%), Judaism (Jewish Settlers in Occupied Territories)
Language : Arab
Currency : ILS (New Israeli Shekel) and EGP (Egyptian Pound) in Gaza Strip
ILS and JOD (Jordanian Dinar) in the West Bank
National Day : 15 November 1988 (As declared in the Declaration of Independence 1988
Head of State : President Mahmoud Abbas (9 January 2005)
Head of Government : PM Salam Fayyad (2007 - )
Minister of Foreign Affairs : Dr. Riad Al Malki (2007 - )
Political System : Parliamentary Democracy based on Arab Nationalism ideology
Governing Party : Fatah
GDP : USD 11,95 Billion (2008)
GDP per Capita : US$ 2.900 (2008)
Main Export Commodities : citrus, flowers, olive oil, textiles, vegetables
Main Import Commodities : consumer goods, construction materials, foods and beverages
International Organization Membership : UN, Non-Aligned Movement, OIC and Arab League
Links : http://www.pal-plc.org/

II.Bilateral Relationship

  1. Brief Bilateral Relationship History

Indonesia officially welcomed Palestinian declaration of independence by the Palestinian National Congress (PNC) in Alger, Algeria, 15 November 1988, followed by Indonesia’s formal recognition towards the recently established State of Palestine the very next day, on 16 November 1988. Indonesia’s decision is in line with Indonesia’s long-time support towards Palestinian people’s struggle both in recovering their lawful rights to determine their own future, including in establishing a sovereign and independent state in their homeland.
One year later, Indonesia and Palestine agreed to advance their bilateral relations through the signing of a Joint Communique on the Commencement of Indonesia-Palestine Diplomatic Relations at Ambassadorial Level, on 19 October 1988. The signing was conducted by Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Ali Alatas, and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, H.E. Farouq Kaddoumi. Following the signing ceremony, Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs commissioned the Embassy of the State Palestine in Jakarta.  
Accordingly, Indonesia assigned its Head of Mission to the Republic of Tunisia as the Ambassador non-resident for Palestine until 1 June 2004, when the assignment was relegated to the Indonesia’s Ambassador for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Amman.

  1. Bilateral Cooperation and Relations in the Fields of Political, Socio-cultural, Economy  and Information

Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Palestine continue to grow positively. Indonesia based its relations with Palestine on the constitutional principles embodied within the preamble of the 1945 Constitution, where Indonesia solemnly views that independence is the lawful right of all nations. Such constitutional view explains Indonesia’s consistent support towards Palestinian people in their struggles, in accordance to various UN Resolutions, particularly related to the Palestinian rights for independence and free determination. Indonesia consistently exercises this position in various forums, either in bilateral, regional, as well as in multilateral levels.

During the state visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 3 May 2006, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seizes the opportunity to have a telephone conversation with his Palestinian counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas. During the conversation, President Yudhoyono asserted once again Indonesia’s support for Palestinian independence including through the resumption of peace talks, as well as expressing Indonesia’s concern over the Palestinian conditions, including in terms of finance, amidst the embargo imposed by the Israelis.
Furthermore, during 21-123 October 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas conducted his first state visit to Indonesia. The visit was conducted as part of the series of visits to several Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam. Among the President’s delegation were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Information (ex officio) H.E. Dr. Riad A Malki, Presidential Advisor for Regional Governance H.E. Hikmat Zaid, and Chief of Protocol H.E. Abdel Karim Ewaida.

As parts of the agenda of the visit was courtesy call to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, bilateral meeting between officials of the two governments, courtesy call to the Speaker of the People’s Assembly and House of Representatives, and inter-faith meeting with leaders of various religious denominations, as well as policy speech before Indonesian Council on World Affairs (ICWA).
During the visit, both governments also agreed to advance their cooperation by signing the following Memorandums of Understanding (MoU):
  • MoU on Consultation between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the State of Palestine;
  • MoU on Technical Cooperation for Human Resource Development;
  • MoU on Education and Training Cooperation in Diplomatic Affairs;
  • MoU between the National News Agency (ANTARA & WAFA)
  • MoU concerning the Establishment of Sister City Cooperation (DKI Jakarta with Al-Quads Al-Sharif.
With regards to the MoU on Education and Training Cooperation in Diplomatic Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia have admitted several batches of Palestinian diplomats to undergo several training programs at the DFA Center for Education and Training (CET), where the first batch of the programs was commenced on June 2008.

In addition to that, in intra-regional level, Indonesia together with South Africa has also convened the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) Asian-African Ministerial Conference on Capacity Building for Palestine in Jakarta, 14-15 July 2008. The conference was aimed as a catalyst for the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state, through the scheme of capacity building for 10.000 Palestinian citizens, in the fields of reconstruction, governance, and socio-cultural fields.

Under the scheme, Indonesia has committed to train as many as 1.000 Palestinian government officials and citizen during the next 5 year-term, started in 2008 – 2013.

Following the recent Israeli onslaughts towards Palestinian territory in Gaza Strip on 28 December 2009 – 20 January 2009, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has issued a very strong condemnation, as well called upon the international community to garner supports for the Palestinian cause. Departing from the spirit, the President of the Republic of Indonesia in the press statement on 29 December 2008 has declared the commitment of the Indonesian Government to assist the Palestinian people with financial assistant of US$ 1 million and 2 tons of medical supplies to ease the hardships endured by the Palestinian people during the indiscriminate attacks. The aid packages have been delivered by the Indonesian Humanitarian Advance Team to the representatives of Palestine both in Amman and in Gaza, on 1 January 2009.

As for Indonesia-Palestine bilateral economic cooperation, the number of trade flows between the two countries is relatively very small. The condition deteriorated even further during 2001-2005, due to the escalation of conflict between Palestine and Israel.

In multilateral level, Indonesia also heed to Palestine’s’ needs to sustain its national life including through the need to preserve its financial balance. In this regards Indonesia actively participate in the Paris Donor Conference in 2007, where Indonesia pledged US$ 1 Million to the Palestinian cause. In addition to that, Indonesia also regularly extending financial assistance through the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East), through which Indonesia routinely allocate its annual contribution of US$ 8.000,-. As per 1994, the sum of annual contribution is increased by US$ 25.000.



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