Author Topic: Taiwan, Israel, Western Sahara not invited to AACC  (Read 985 times)

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Taiwan, Israel, Western Sahara not invited to AACC
« on: April 21, 2015, 20:24:15 PM »
Taiwan, Israel, Western
Sahara not invited to AACC

Veeramalla Anjaiah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | World | Mon, April 20 2015, 12:01 PM

Indonesia, the host of the 60th Asian-African Conference Commemoration (AACC), did not invite every country on the Asian and African continents to the event, says a senior envoy.

“We didn’t invite all countries in Asia and Africa. We sent the invitations based on the United Nations member list, except Israel,” the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s director for African affairs, Lasro Simbolon, told The Jakarta Post recently.

In Asia, we have Taiwan, which is not a UN member. China claims Taiwan as its territory and calls it a renegade province, while Taiwan claims it is a sovereign and democratic state. Due to its “One China Policy”, Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan despite good economic relations. Taiwan is not a member of the UN.

“We didn’t receive an invitation to the Asian-African Conference,” said Tseng Wei-ming, director of the press information division at the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta recently.

Regarding Israel, though it is a member of the UN, Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations because of the Palestinian issue. In 1955, the conference's five cohosts — Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma (now Myanmar) — did not invite Israel to the first Asian-African conference. They also did not invite South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan or Mongolia.

One of the main objectives of the Bandung Conference was to boost the spirit of oppressed people in Asia and Africa and promote solidarity among nations. Almost all countries in Asia and Africa have become independent states during the last six decades.

Unfortunately, Palestinians are still suffering under Israeli occupation and fighting for independence. In 1955, a group of delegates from Jerusalem attended the Bandung Conference and the Palestinian issue was raised at that event, which was attended by 29 countries, including six from Africa. The six African countries were Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Liberia and Ethiopia.

During the commemoration of 50 years of the Bandung Conference, held in 2005 in Jakarta, the Palestinian issue was raised but brought no ending to the suffering of Palestinians. This time, 60 years since the Bandung conference, Indonesia, a strong supporter of the Palestinian state, included the Palestinian issue on the agenda of the AACC.

In the case of Western Sahara (officially named Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic), it is completely a different case. Western Sahara is not a member of the UN but a member of the African Union. Morocco, a North African state, says the Western Sahara region is an integral part of Morocco and fully controls the region while a leftist rebel group called the Polisario Front claims that Morocco illegally occupied the entire region of Western Sahara after the Spanish left the area in the 1970s.

With the full support of Algeria, which has a rivalry with Morocco, Polisario established a government in exile inside Algerian territory. Negotiations under the auspices of the UN have been going on for decades to find a peaceful solution to the problem.

Since Western Sahara is not a UN member, Indonesia did not invite Western Sahara for the AACC.
Surprisingly, South Africa — the economic powerhouse of Africa — was not invited to Bandung in 1955 because it was still under the rule of the apartheid regime. But it became a cohost of the 2005 Asian-African Conference.

In an effort to boost South-South cooperation, Indonesia has invited many countries and organizations that do not belong to Asia or Africa to the AACC this year. (++++)