JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia remains unmoved by US President Donald Trump’s $2 billion offer to normalize relations with Israel.
Jakarta maintained its stance days after the head of the US’ leading development agency disclosed the proposal to Bloomberg and The Times of Israel earlier this week.
“[Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi] has made it clear that Indonesia does not and will not have any intentions of establishing diplomatic relations with Israel,” Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told Kompas.com on Thursday, December 24.
“For that reason alone, there is no need to pay attention [to the The Times of Israel] article.” He added that Indonesian President Joko Widodo maintained Indonesia’s stance during a conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week.
One of Indonesia’s leading Muslim organizations, the Indonesian Ulama Council or MUI, called on the Indonesian government not to normalize relations with Israel.
“We appreciate the Indonesian government for not giving in to [US] pressure to establish diplomatic relations [with Israel] in exchange for increased economic investment to Indonesia,” said MUI chairman Miftachul Akhyar.
“We urge the [Indonesian] government to assert its support for Palestinian independence, as it is in line with its free and active foreign policy under the 1945 constitution.” But Miftachul noted that even this approach has challenges.
“There are senior [Indonesian] government officials who support normalizing relations with Israel,” he said but did not elaborate.