Jakarta. Dino Patti Djalal, founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, met with Pope Francis on Saturday (14/01) to discuss the Vatican's support of Palestine.
Dino, a former deputy foreign affairs minister and presidential spokesman for Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and former trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu met with the pope during the Global Foundation Dialouge in the Vatican.
“As a Muslim, I really thanked the pope for the spirit of freedom and fraternity that has been shown consistently to the Muslims all around the world, including for his support to the freedom of Palestine,” Dino said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe.
“The pope’s spirit is an important foundation to build world peace,” he added.
Before the meeting, Pope Francis inaugurated the Palestinian Embassy to the Holy See officially recognizing Palestine and a show of support for peace talks.
In 2014, Pope Francis said the Palestinians have a right to their "sovereign and independent" homeland.
A year after the recognition, the Vatican identified Palestine as a sovereign state in an agreement that recognized freedom of religion in Palestine and backed a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Dino also met with Markus Solo Kewuta, the only Indonesian priest serving in the Vatican, who handles interfaith dialogue for the Asia Pacific Region.
During the meeting, Dino was told that Pope Francis washed the feet of Muslim migrants during last year’s foot-washing ritual held as part of the Holy Thursday Mass ahead of Easter.
“It was incredible and never happened before that a pope washed and kissed the feet of a Muslim. This shows tolerance and sincerity of the pope to serve people without seeing what religions they believe in,” Dino said.
“This should be an inspiration for followers and leaders of other faiths,” said Dino.
The meeting was also attended by former British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, Australian former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former World Trade Organization director general Pascal Lamu and several chief executives from multinational firms.