Jakarta urges Pacific to recognise Palestine

Indonesia has called on Pacific island countries to immediately recognise Palestine.

The Antara news agency was reporting comments by the country's foreign minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday.

Ms Marsudi said Indonesia always discussed Palestine's independence in its bilateral talks with Pacific island countries and with those yet to recognise Palestine as a state.

Vanuatu recognised Palestine in 1989 soon after its Declaration of Independence in 1988.

Papua New Guinea followed in 1995.

The two countries are the only Pacific island countries listed among 137 states at the UN which recognise the State of Palestine.

Antara reports Retno Marsudi earlier said Indonesia would not backtrack on its stance of supporting Palestine.

She stressed Indonesia would continue to mobilise international pressure to achieve a two state solution to the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Jakarta Post reported last week Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had asked Indonesia to rally backing for Palestine among Pacific island countries, most of which are usually supporters of Israel.

The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Micronesia were among nine countries which voted against admitting Palestine as an observer at the UN in 2012.

The Solomon Islands and Tuvalu voted in favour, while Fiji, Samoa and Tonga abstained from voting.

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