Israel working towards normalization with Indonesia, Saudi Arabia

i24NEWS

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Muslim men burn Israeli and United States flags during a protest against former US president Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, December 8, 2017.
AP Photo/Heri JuandaMuslim men burn Israeli and United States flags during a protest against former US president Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, December 8, 2017.

Israel and Indonesia have no formal diplomatic ties but hold steady trade, tourism, and security contracts

A high-ranking Israeli Foreign Ministry official confirmed during a briefing that Israel and Indonesia are working behind the scenes towards normalizing relations.

The United States is acting as a mediator between the two states, according to i24NEWS correspondent Jonathan Serero who was at the Foreign Ministry briefing Monday morning.

“The goal is to normalize relations with Indonesia and Saudi Arabia,” the Israeli official said.

“These are the two countries we want to reach an agreement with, but it is a slow process that takes a lot of time and effort. We hope for the best.”

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There are other talks with additional Muslim countries to normalize relations with Israel as well, the official added, citing the Comoros islands, the Maldives, and in the longer term Kuwait and Qatar.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country and has been mentioned as a potential addition to the Abraham Accords that includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco.

Israel has no formal diplomatic ties with the southeast Asian country, although the two nations maintain steady trade, tourism, and security contracts.

In December, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue of normalizing relations between the two nations during a visit to Indonesia, and in November an Israeli diplomat met with Indonesia’s defense minister in Bahrain.

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