Indonesia To Contribute Peacekeeping Troops

Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, said Sunday it was prepared to contribute troops if the United Nations sends a peacekeeping force to Lebanon under a Security Council resolution passed Saturday.

Indonesia To Contribute Peacekeeping Troops

The resolution asks Israel to stop its offensive military operations in Lebanon and Hizbollah to stop its attacks on Israel. Meanwhile, Lebanese and French leaders voiced appreciation for Indonesia's role in efforts to find a solution to the conflict in Lebanon. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reiterated Sunday that Indonesia was ready to contribute troops to a peacekeeping force under a UN, adding that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora had called him Saturday to ask Indonesia to help monitor the cease-fire.

"The Lebanese prime minister expressed his thanks for our contributions to resolving the conflict, and hoped Indonesia would help monitor the cease-fire," Yudhoyono was quoted as saying by Antara. French President Jacques Chirac also phoned to convey France's appreciation for Indonesia's role, he added. Yudhoyono said he would hold a Cabinet meeting later Sunday evening with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo Adi Sucipto, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono, Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Air Chief Marshall Djoko Suyanto and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Joko Santoso to discuss the possibility of Indonesia sending peacekeeping troops.

Separately, Yudhoyono's special envoy for the Lebanon-Israel conflict, Ali Alatas, said Indonesia hoped the cease-fire would be permanent. He said this was a first step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict. "Many problems, including prisoner swaps, a clear border between the two countries and land disputes, such as the Shebaa area, should be resolved immediately if the cease-fire is to be preserved. The solution must be accepted by both parties in the conflict," he told the Post on Sunday.

Alatas said Indonesia was still waiting for the UN's decision on whether it would establish a peacekeeping force under Chapter 6 of its charter, or a more robust multinational force under Chapter 7. He said if a force was established under Chapter 7 then participating countries would be required to finance their troops themselves, and the troops would be under the command of the country that contributed the largest number of troops.

"We have no history of sending troops under another country's command. We refused, for instance, to participate in multinational forces to Iraq because of this reason. We prefer to send troops under the UN's banner. If the UN decides it is a multinational force, we will have to discuss it thoroughly first," Alatas said.

The U.S., EU and France have indicated they want a multinational force under Chapter 7, to allow troops to conduct preemptive strikes. Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda has indicated that Indonesia only will take part in a peacekeeping operation under Chapter 6. The UN will decide on the type of force and operations Monday. Separately, Riza Sihbudi, an expert on the Middle East at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, warned that unless the root problems of the conflict were addressed the cease-fire would only be temporary.

"The resolution is very important as it stops the killing of civilians and give the chance for a peacekeeping force to come in. But as long as it does not refer to the 1967 (UN) resolution and the 1973 (UN) resolution, which both demand Israel withdraw from areas belonging to Palestinian people, the cease-fire will be short-lived," he told the Post.

Riza said the two key problems that must be addressed to ensure a lasting peace in Lebanon were the establishment of clear borders between Palestine, Lebanon and Israel, and the resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict. When the borders are agreed upon among the three parties, under the auspices of the UN, Israel will think twice before expanding its territory whenever it wants, he said.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16