Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla reaffirmed Indonesia’s commitment to assist Afghanistan in peacebuilding efforts at the second conference of the Kabul Process on Wednesday (28/02), and touched on the role of ulemas, or clerics, to realize peace and end decades of conflict.
"Conflict never benefits anyone, therefore it’s high time for Afghanistan and for all of us to spare no effort in assisting the Afghan people in their pursuit for peace," Kalla said during his speech, as seen by the Jakarta Globe in a video issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Kabul Process was first held in June 2017. It is an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process aimed at establishing peace, security and stability in the war-torn country.
Kalla attended the conference as guest of honor, where he also shared Indonesia’s experience in peacebuilding operations.
The vice president was directly involved in Indonesia's peace truce with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and helped bring about treaties to other religious conflicts in the eastern part of the country, including in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and Ambon, Maluku.
Indonesia and Afghanistan have forged closer relations over the past year, beginning with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit last April, which was followed by a series of high-level meetings, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s visit to the country in January.
In his speech, Kalla highlighted key aspects of the peacebuilding process, including confidence-building, habit of dialogue and inclusiveness.
He also touched on the role of ulemas to contribute to the peace process.
"Having the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia fully understands the prominent and significant role of ulemas in nurturing peace and reconciliation, particularly through the promotion of values and principles of tolerance," Kalla said.
Indonesia and Afghanistan plan to hold an international ulemas conference, which Kalla said will help end the conflict in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that both countries will discuss details of the conference further as part of Kalla’s visit to Kabul.
Furthermore, Kalla said Indonesia will host a trilateral dialogue among ulemas from Indonesia, Pakistan and Afghanistan in March.