No Plans to Establiah Diplomatic Relations with Israel, Ministry Says

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TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the Indonesian government has no plans to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, in a statement on Thursday night, April 11, 2024.

The statement follows reports from Israeli media that Indonesia has agreed to normalize relations, in exchange for Israel’s approval of its membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Israel and Indonesia have been holding discussions on normalizing relations between the two countries for the past three months, according to the Ynet news website.

In a report that did not cite any sources, Ynet wrote that Israel would stop obstructing Indonesia’s efforts to join the OECD – an organization often dubbed the “club of wealthy nations” – in exchange for formal relations with Israel.

The organization requires unanimous agreement among all member countries to accept new members. Israel had previously been reported to be blocking Indonesia’s membership on the grounds of no diplomatic relations.

The report said that the OECD was also involved in the normalization talks. The Times of Israel reported that an Israeli official later confirmed the report to them.

In response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said Indonesia’s process of joining the OECD “will take quite a long time.” According to the plan, he said the roadmap towards Indonesia’s membership would be adopted in May, and there are “many” preparations that Indonesia needs to make.

Iqbal explained that each country requires different amounts of time to complete the OECD membership process. “It all depends on the readiness of the country. Some countries take 3 years, while others take more than 5 years,” Iqbal said, in a brief message to reporters.

“Regarding the issue of opening diplomatic relations with Israel, I emphasize that there are currently no plans to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, especially amid Israel’s atrocities in Gaza at present,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal conveyed that Indonesia’s position “remains steadfast in supporting Palestinian independence” within the framework of a two-state solution and will always be consistent in defending the rights of the Palestinian people.

NABILLA AZZAHRA

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