Indonesia: Peace in mideast can reduce terrorism

Indonesia's foreign minister said Wednesday that resolving the Middle East crisis - particularly the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians - would help diminish the threat of terrorism worldwide. "Once the problem of Palestine is solved, much of the wind in the sails of international terrorists will come down," said Hasan Wirajuda, whose country has been hit by a series of bombings blamed on the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah. More than 240 people have died in attacks in the world's most populous Muslim country since 2002, many of them foreign tourists. Indonesia has long supported Palestinian independence efforts and does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. It was highly critical of the Jewish state during the 34-day conflict in Lebanon, and offered to deploy frontline troops as part of a UN peacekeeping mission there.