Interesting... When I read the story originally (below June 20), it seemed the JP and Hassan the FM -- if his quotes are accurate -- continue to be totally confused about the differences between the geographical region of Palestine and the political/administrative entities within that piece of land -- the Palestinian territories and Israel. Then this letter today causes me to wonder if FM Hassan may have been misquoted as well.
Also interesting that we are hammered with the 'most populous Muslim' thing again. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? It'd be like saying, Brazil and Italy, the most populous Catholic nations, believe they should mediate peace talks between rival drug gangs in predominantly Catholic Haiti.

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Foreign Ministry clarifies

June 21 JP letters

I would like to refer to your June 20 article entitled RI, India neutral on Palestine political row.

In that article, your reporter wrote that on Tuesday, June 19, I said, I quote : "although recent developments had made the situation more difficult, Indonesia was still trying to continue with its plan to hold a dialog with Hamas in Jakarta".

This is a factual mistake, since I never made such a statement, so I can only imagine that the reporter had jumped into his own conclusion.

Y. KRISTIARTO S. LEGOWO
Spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs
Jakarta

Note: Thank you for the clarification.

--Editor


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RI, India neutral on Palestine political row

World News - June 20, 2007

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia and India, Asia's two largest democracies, have urged Hamas and Fatah to work toward reconciliation and reestablish the national unity government to create an independent Palestinian state.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo said Tuesday that although recent developments had made the situation more difficult, Indonesia was still trying to continue with its plan to hold a dialog with Hamas in Jakarta.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said that Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, was very much concerned with the latest developments in the Hamas-Fatah conflict.

"We are following the developments very closely since the establishment of the interim government that will, after a month, need the approval of the Palestine Assembly. We hope this will lead to more stability for the Palestine government if the government and the people of Palestine are able to restore the national unity government," Hassan said.

Mukherjee, whose country has the world's third biggest Muslim population after Indonesia and Pakistan, expressed support for Indonesia's position, saying that internal conflict among various groups in Palestine should be resolved immediately.