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Indonesia MPs call to stop visas to Israel citizens

November 30, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Indonesian Muslims stage a protest outside the US ambassador’s office in Indonesia against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Jakarta on 8 December, 2017 [Dasril Roszandi / Anadolu Agency]

Members of the Indonesian Parliament yesterday called on President Joko Widodo to abolish a decision to resume accepting visa applications from Israeli citizens.

Last week it was reported that citizens of eight countries, including Israel, who require what is known as a “calling visa” can now apply for the paperwork after temporary suspension was imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Calling visas” are issued to nationals of states which are considered to have a certain level of vulnerability in terms of ideological, political, economic, social, cultural, defence, or immigration aspects, and who as a result require authorisation from the Indonesian Immigration Authority prior to applying to a visa to enter the country.

Those on the list were Afghanistan, Guinea, Israel, North Korea, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Somalia.

The Vice Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly, Dr. Hidayat Nur Wahid, denounced the decision, fearing it was a prelude to “normalising” diplomatic relations with Israel.

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