Washington DC [US] (ANI) : Indonesia President Joko Widodo has urged United States President Joe Biden to do more in Gaza to help bring a ceasefire and end the "atrocities", Al Jazeera has reported.
The two leaders met on Monday (local time) Biden at the White House as the two leaders prepare for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco
A large part of the discussion at the Oval Office was on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has been raging for over a month.Violence has developed in Gaza since Israel's imposed blockade on Gaza and subsequent bombing of the area, along with a ground invasion, which has resulted in the killing of an estimated at least 11,000 Palestinians.
Biden and his US government were quick to provide their rigid support to Israel.The Indonesian President attended a joint summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh over the weekend. The summit rejected the idea that Israel had acted in "self-defence" and demanded a "decisive and binding resolution" by the United Nations Security Council.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and has seen large protests in support of the Palestinians as well as a boycott of businesses seen as linked to Israel.
Widodo appealed to the US demanding the state to "do more to stop the atrocities in Gaza," Al Jazeera reported. "A ceasefire is a must for the sake of humanity," Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi said.
US officials have said Biden is keen for Indonesia to "play a larger role" in West Asia, which could include the "ceasefire issue" but also long-term goals such as a two-state solution after the war and rebuilding Gaza.
Despite Washington's support for Israel, it has begun to call for greater restraint and "pauses" in the fighting; that would allow the delivery of humanitarian aid or the safe passage of hospitalised Palestinians.
Amid rising geopolitical tension, Widodo was keen to stress Indonesia's long-held neutrality.
"Indonesia is always open to cooperate with any country, and not to take the side of any power, except to take the side of peace and humanity," he said.
In a similar way to the development of ties with Vietnam on a visit to Hanoi in September, the US aims to upgrade cooperation with Indonesia to a so-called comprehensive strategic partnership, the highest diplomatic level. The US is deepening its alliances inside the Asia Pacific region.
"This will mark a new era of relations between the United States and Indonesia across the board, affecting everything," Biden said as he sat next to Widodo, Al Jazeera reported.
As well as discussions held surrounding the Israel question, the two leaders have analysed the deepening crisis in Myanmar. In February 2021, the Myanmar military seized power from the government of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Fighting between the military and armed groups opposing the coup has intensified in recent weeks.
The US and other mainly Western countries have imposed sanctions but the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), while banning Myanmar's top generals from its summits, has had little success in holding the military to account, reported Al Jazeera. The leaders further discussed areas such as cybersecurity, and space as well as climate with the US due to announce steps with the Southeast Asian country on carbon capture and storage, supporting the electricity grid and improving air quality.
Joe Biden shared a post on his X (formerly Twitter) account, "On the cusp of our 75th year of diplomatic relations, our two countries are working together to combat the climate crisis, advance economic prosperity, and support regional peace."
The Washington-Jakarta meeting comes as a prerequisite to talks occurring in San Francisco between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as a key summit of leaders from APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). Indonesia is a member of APEC.