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Indonesian foreign minister calls for Israeli products boycott

Publication Date : 29-09-2012


Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has called for nations to consider reviewing diplomatic ties with Israel and boycotting its products in solidarity with Palestine.

Marty acknowledged that the situation in the occupied territories had grown unfavourable following unilateral Israeli moves.

“There is an unbalanced situation and Israel should bear responsibility for the failure of peace negotiations,” Marty said on the sidelines of the 67th UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

The foreign minister was commenting on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s pessimistic assessment of the peace process. “The door may be closing, for good, on a two-state solution,” Ban said in his speech to the assembly.

“We must break this dangerous impasse,” Ban added.

Marty called on the world to pressure Israel to obey its commitments to achieve peace with Palestine, evoking the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Saudi Arabia, when Indonesia proposed more support for Palestine.

“Countries with diplomatic relations with Israel should reconsider or review their ties. There must also be consideration of a boycott of all products produced in the occupied territories,” Marty said.

Indonesia supports a two-state solution in Palestine, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian nation alongside Israel.

“Indonesia sees the two-state solution as the only sustainable option and the optimal effort we can do for Palestinian people. Indonesia supports the independence of Palestine 100 per cent. It’s non-negotiable,” Marty said.

The people of Palestine have struggled for their rights for years, while other countries were considered for UN membership on an accelerated basis, Marty said.

“They were just waiting for a few days, while Palestine has been waiting for years. This is an injustice,” the foreign minister said.

Marty also criticised the UN Security Council for its responsiveness and perseverance on other issues but not Palestine.

The Palestinian Authority made a symbolic bid for recognition at the UN as the “State of Palestine” in 2011 that failed due to lack of support in the UN Security Council.

Currently, Palestine only has “permanent observer” status at the UN.

Palestine made a successful bid for recognition by Unesco that succeeded when the cultural and educational agency admitted the “State of Palestine” as a member in 2011.

Separately, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would seek to have Palestine’s UN status upgraded to “non-member observer state” by the end of 2012.

The change would allow Palestine to participate in General Assembly debates and improve its chances of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court.

“Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance — maybe the last — to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Thursday.


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