Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, yesterday hailed Indonesia’s rejection of normalising ties with Israel until a comprehensive and just solution is reached for the Palestinian cause, the Wafa news agency reported.
The agency said Abbas spoke on the phone with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and expressed his appreciation for Jakarta’s support for the Palestinian cause, its rejection of normalisation with Israel, as well as its commitment to achieving peace based on the two-state solution.
The Palestinian president also briefed his Indonesian counterpart on the latest developments in the Palestinian cause.
The agency quoted Widodo as saying that “despite the rapid changes in the Middle East, Indonesia will not take any steps to normalise [relations] with Israel until a permanent and comprehensive peace is achieved between the Palestinians and the Israelis”, adding that Indonesia, as the largest Muslim country, will continue its efforts to support the achievement of peace and play a greater role in this field.
Indonesia is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and presents one of its main goals on the council as dealing with the Palestinian question. It has had no formal relations with the occupation state of Israel since it was formed on Palestinian land in 1948. In support of Palestine, Jakarta issued a tax exemption on Palestinian imports.
In turn, Israel has taken soft measures against Indonesia such as banning tourists from the country but has made overtures towards it in recent years in order to influence the process of normalisation.