Jakarta pledges aid to Palestinians

Indonesia will give medicine and food aid to the Palestinian government to help ease shortages caused by United States and European sanctions, the country's foreign minister has said.

    Al-Zahar is visiting Asia to raise money

    Hassan Wirajuda made the comments after Mahmoud al-Zahar, the Palestinian foreigm minister, met Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president.

    Al-Zahar is in Indonesia as part of a tour of Asia aimed at raising money for the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.

    "The president made a promise as part of our continuous support to the struggle of the Palestinian nation to provide aid to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the form of food and drugs," Wirajuda said.

    He did not say whether the government in the world's most populous Muslim nation would provide any cash to the authority.

    Donation

    Earlier on Friday a group of Islamic politicians and activists handed al-Zahar $251,000 in cash to make up for the shortfall in the authority's budget. The money was raised during a series of recent street rallies.

    Israel, the US and European Union have cut off much of the funding to the Palestinian Authority since the Islamic group Hamas won parliamentary elections in January, calling it a terror organisation.

    Hamas has so far refused to renounce violence, recognise Israel's right to exist or accept past peace agreements.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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