After the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, the United States, on Thursday and Friday, the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Sultanate of Brunei issued separate statements on their dispute with the US government over the Israeli occupation forces’ aggression against the Gaza Strip, noting that Joe ·President Biden also issued separate statements on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza in his capacity as summit chair.
The leaders explained that their statement reflected the “best and fairest” clarification of the Gaza Strip disaster negotiations and highlighted the recent special summit of Arab and Islamic countries in Riyadh on Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people. speech.
Expressing deep concern at the immense human suffering and negative impact caused by wars and conflicts around the world, they called for an immediate and permanent humanitarian truce to cease hostilities in the Gaza Strip, and stressed the need for immediate, sustained and full, unimpeded access to the entire Gaza Strip. Civilians in the Gaza Strip provide basic goods and services.
The statement stressed that there can be no permanent or just solution unless the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is resolved through peaceful means in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions and based on a two-state solution within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
The separate statement reflected divisions among member states over the situation in Gaza and even Ukraine, which emerged at a summit in the Thai capital Bangkok last year.
Criticism of the US position
Friday’s main summit statement touched on issues related to the economy, energy, climate, digital economy and food security, while there was no mention of the political dimension, given that the forum’s scope and purpose are primarily economic.
However, as the host country sometimes does at many summits, the White House issued a presidential statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, saying only: “We exchanged views on the current crisis in Gaza. Leaders including the U.S. Expressing their views, some leaders also agreed with the unified stance of the joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh.
The White House statement noted that “some national leaders opposed the inclusion of this language in the 2023 APEC Golden Gate Declaration on the grounds that they did not believe this was a forum for discussing geopolitical issues.”
In the same context, journalists said Indonesian President Joko Widodo said before the APEC summit that “Indonesia hopes that our partnership will help promote regional and global peace and prosperity. Therefore, we call on the United States to stop the A greater role in atrocities because a truce is necessary for the sake of humanity.” This surprised the US president, but President Biden avoided responding to statements about Gaza and instead returned to talking about weather and climate.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said: “We are asked to condemn the aggression against Ukraine, but some people remain silent about the atrocities especially against the Palestinian people. This says nothing about their sense of justice and compassion. “Frankly, we stand unwavering in our support for justice for the lives of these Palestinians, and what a beautiful thing that is.”
Ibrahim added, “Stop these atrocities, stop the killing of women and children immediately because every day we see more babies being killed.” He noted, “For APEC, it is important to maintain a minimum understanding among member states , cooperation and trust are very important.”
He warned that the participating countries failed to resolve pressing issues such as Ukraine and the Palestinian issue, saying that it was necessary for participants to take responsibility for dealing with such issues and preventing them from happening, noting that on the eve of the summit, he warned US President Joe Biden and next year The Peruvian president, who holds the APEC chair, addressed these concerns.
Gaza attends ASEAN defense ministers meeting
What happened at the APEC summit repeated in another way what happened at last week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers’ meeting in Jakarta. Indonesia’s position differs from the ministerial unified statement, which did not mention Gaza but instead focused on regional security issues including tensions in the South China Sea.
Indonesian Defense Minister, presidential candidate and retired general Prabowo Subianto said at the opening of the meeting: “Indonesia’s position is clear and consistent, that is, we demand and promote an immediate cessation of hostilities and the opening of humanitarian corridors to Humanitarian aid must be provided and violence against civilians must cease. On the other hand, efforts to achieve a ceasefire must continue and humanitarian aid delivery routes must be expanded and accelerated.”
Subianto added: “Indonesia actively communicates with all parties to solve the problem, calls for finding safe passage for Gaza victims, and firmly commits to providing assistance to the affected people. As of November 4, we have pledged to provide 51.5 tons of aid to the Palestinians. Of these, 21 tonnes have been delivered and we will continue to deliver.”
He spoke of Indonesia’s efforts to dispatch a floating hospital as soon as possible to deliver aid and medical teams to Gaza victims, in addition to preparing to provide longer-term medical services in hospitals within Indonesia.
At the end of the meeting, Subianto issued a separate statement on the situation in the Middle East in his capacity as chairman of the meeting, explaining the views exchanged and expressing deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza, emphasizing the statement made at the ASEAN-Arab Gulf Cooperation Council Summit and a statement from ASEAN foreign ministers last month.
The statement noted that participants expressed deep concern over attacks that resulted in casualties among innocent civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure, called for an immediate, permanent and sustainable humanitarian truce to cease hostilities, and “called on both sides” to respect the sanctity of life and property. sex, protect civilians, including nationals of ASEAN countries, and “hostages” should be released immediately and unconditionally.