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World’s Largest Muslim Country Will Normalize Ties with Israel: Report


Indonesia is planning to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, according to a Thursday report by Israeli outlet Yedioth Ahronoth.

The newspaper stated that the Asian nation, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has been in secret negotiations for several months with Jerusalem and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to finalize a normalization agreement.

The talks reportedly come as Jakarta is seeking OECD membership and must overcome Israel’s insistence that all participating nations have official recognition with one another. Applicants must also undergo a series of regulatory reforms and have unanimous support to join the 38-member institution.

“I am happy to announce that the Council has officially agreed to the early, clear, and explicit condition that Indonesia maintain diplomatic relations with all members of the organization before any decision to accept [it in] the OECD,” Secretary-General Mathias Cormann wrote to Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, two weeks ago.

“Furthermore, any future decision to accept Indonesia as a member of the organization will require unanimous agreement among all member countries, including Israel. I am convinced that this provides you with assurance at this crucial point,” the letter continued.

Last month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s office denied that such a process was in place.

Indonesia has been a critic of Israel’s military operations in Gaza and supports South Africa’s efforts at the ICJ to adjudicate the Jewish state as being guilty of ‘genocide.’ Anti-Israel protests are common in the country.

Last year, FIFA removed Indonesia’s hosting rights for the Under-20 World Cup due to public discontent over the Israeli team’s attendance.

There has been no comment from the Indonesian government on this matter.

Related Story: Israel and Indonesia Were Supposed to Normalize Relations in October of Last Year: Sources

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