Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely revealed during a Knesset debate over the recent denial of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s entry to Ramallah that Israel has unofficial secret ties with Indonesia.
According to Hotovely, Israel has had “continuous contact” with Indonesia, the Jerusalem Post reported. Marsudi was denied entry into Ramallah on Sunday to inaugurate Indonesia’s consulate.
Indonesia, which is the world’s largest Muslim country, does not have any formal diplomatic relations with Israel. However, Indonesia recognized Palestinian statehood in 1988 and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visited Indonesia’s capital Jakarta last week, where he attended an Organization of Islamic States summit on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Hotovely said that while the two countries do not have formal relations, Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General in the Asia-Pacific Division Mark Sofer recently visited Jakarta, where he reached an understanding with Indonesian officials that Marsudi would also meet with senior Israeli officials during his visit.
She added that that is normal protocol for all foreign dignitaries to visit both Jerusalem and Ramallah.
“It was the Foreign Minister of Indonesia’s decision to violate that understanding, and she understood that, by her action of skipping Jerusalem, she is going against the rules Israel set for official visits to the PA and Israel,” Hotovely stated.