Indonesian president presses US on Middle East conflict

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has met with US President Joe Biden in Washington ahead of the APEC summit. Joko pressed the US to do more to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

In the meeting on Monday, Joko said that Indonesia is appealing to the US to do more to stop the atrocities in Gaza. He added that a ceasefire is a must for the sake of humanity.

As attacks on Gaza intensify, criticism is growing in Indonesia against the US, which supports Israel.

Indonesia is the biggest Muslim-majority nation in the world. The country has long been a supporter of Palestine, recognizing it as a sovereign state, while refusing to have diplomatic ties with Israel.

A US official says it is critical to hear perspectives from Indonesia on the Middle East situation.

In the summit, the two countries also agreed to enhance cooperation by launching a comprehensive strategic partnership. It will include enhancing maritime security cooperation and expanding US support for Indonesia's de-carbonization efforts.

Biden said that Indonesia is a critical player in the transition to clean energy. He also said that the US is going to continue to work with ASEAN to advance a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Analysts say Washington is apparently aiming to strengthen ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific to counter China's growing influence in the region.