Indonesia and South Africa will co-chair an Asian-African Conference on Palestine in Jakarta, a foreign ministry spokesman said.
“The foreign ministerial level conference is aimed at increasing Palestine`s capacity,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said here on Friday.
The conference differs from the donors` conference held in Paris several months ago because the Jakarta conference would put emphasis on building Palestine`s capacity, he said.
“It will focus on implementable projects,” Faizasyah said.
Faizasyah said the idea to hold the conference came up after seeing that 50 years after the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung in 1955, it had turned out that there was still a country which had not yet gained independence.
“Asian-African countries have experience in development. We hope our efforts will complement other international efforts to assist Palestine,” he said.
He said Asian-African countries had agreed to continue encouraging efforts to create peace in the region and support Palestinian independence.
In the meantime, Director for Intra-Regional Cooperation Affairs for Asia-Pacific and Africa, Ibnu Hadi said Asian-African countries had a commitment to provide assistance to Palestine.
“These are programs to be carried out through a G-to-G cooperation but the involvement of the private sector is not ruled out,” he said.
Asked whether Indonesia will invite representatives from Hamas, Hadi said the invitation for Palestine was addressed to the Palestinian government, not to any particular groups in that country.
Besides Asian and African countries, according to Hadi, Indonesia also would invite countries in the Latin American region such as Cuba, Braziland Venezuela.
“The objective of this conference is to stress the readiness of Palestine,” he said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, when he visited Indonesia in late 2007, said he hailed the Indonesian plan to host the conference.
At the end of 2007 and early in 2008, two conferences on Palestine were held, namely the Annapolis conference in the United States and the conference of donor countries in Paris.