The Indonesian Foreign Ministry denied a Jerusalem Post report that Jakarta had sent a delegation to Israel on a secret visit, stressing that publishing such a hoax reflects an old way for the Israeli media to gain profits.
"As long as Palestine is under Israeli occupation, Indonesia will not open diplomatic relations with Israel," the Foreign Ministry's Middle East Director Bagus Hendraning Kobarsyih told a local English-language news site Tempo yesterday.
Bagus added that the Israeli media often fabricates such unfounded news to use in its favour and emphasised that Indonesia's position remains unchanged, including its support for a two-state solution.
The Israeli newspaper reported that two delegations from Pakistan and Indonesia were in Israel on secret visits. It claimed that trade and tourism between Israel and Indonesia had grown closer after a series of meetings.
Indonesia is the first country to recognise the independence of Palestine after the declaration of the State of Palestine in Algeria on 15 November 1988. The two countries signed a Joint Agreement on the Commencement of Indonesian-Palestinian Diplomatic Relations on 19 October 1989 in Jakarta. This also coincided with the opening of the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Jakarta.
The first Palestinian ambassador to Indonesia presented his credentials to President Suharto on 23 April 1990.
Since then, Indonesia has consistently expressed support for the Palestinian struggle for independence and full sovereignty.