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December 24, 2020, 04.22 AM – US President Donald Trump’s administration has delivered the most intensive pressure yet on Indonesia to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

The outgoing 45th president promised to provide up to $1 to 2 billion or Rp. 14 to 28 trillion in financial aid to Indonesia, if it joins Muslim countries like Morocco and the United Arab Emirates in normalizing diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

“We’re talking to [Indonesia] about [establishing diplomatic relations with Israel],” US International Development Finance Cooperation Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler said to the Bloomberg news agency in Jerusalem on Tuesday, December 22.

Also read: Indonesian Lower House Chief: Indonesia-Israel Relations Out of the Question

“If they’re ready, they’re ready and…we’ll be happy to [provide] even [more financial] support [to Indonesia].” The Times of Israel also quoted Boehler’s statement.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is known for his close ties with Boehler, has been leading the push for Middle Eastern countries to normalize ties with Israel, especially as the 74-year old’s administration is drawing to a close.

Bloomber also said Boehler “hopes Oman and Saudi Arabia will join” the drive to normalize relations with Israel.

Also read: Indonesia Condemns Israeli Plan to Annex West Bank

However, a US Congress staffer with ties to the Democrat Party warned Indonesia to beware of the deal, as it is made weeks before US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

“If I were the Indonesians, I wouldn’t bank on any promises the [Trump] administration is making now,” said the aide, who wished to remain anonymous. “The Development Finance Corp. was designed as a development tool, not an incentive for political developments.”

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