US thanks next Indonesia leader for Gaza aid

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken thanked Indonesia’s incoming president, Prabowo Subianto, for offering assistance in crisis-hit Gaza during their meeting at an aid conference in Jordan.

The president-elect of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country has pledged to send peacekeeping forces if a UN-backed ceasefire is in place and increase medical aid immediately.

Blinken congratulated Prabowo, Indonesia’s current defence minister, on his election and discussed how the US-led ceasefire initiative “would benefit both Israelis and Palestinians”, said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Blinken “thanked the defence minister for Indonesia’s support for the proposal to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and secure the release of all hostages”, Miller added.

Addressing the conference on the Dead Sea, Prabowo said Indonesia was ready to send medical teams, a field hospital and a hospital ship to war-battered Gaza.“Although we are willing to support and contribute to all these efforts, the final solution to this problem is a two-state solution,” he said.

“Only with a two-state solution with Palestine and Israel living side by side in security and safety can we resolve this problem.”

While the United States had previously denied the future president a visa over alleged involvement in the abduction of democracy activists at the end of Suharto’s dictatorship, US President Joe Biden has signalled a change in approach by personally congratulating Prabowo. — AFP

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