Indonesia

Senior Indonesian official on secret visit to Israel, source says

World's most populous Muslim country holds no diplomatic ties with Jerusalem; Pakistani delegation also said to be in Israel despite absence of official relations

i24NEWS |
Published: 09.19.22, 22:09
A senior official from Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, arrived in Israel on a secret visit, a source revealed to i24NEWS on Monday.
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  • Indonesia holds no diplomatic ties with Israel.
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    אינדונזיה נגד העולם
    אינדונזיה נגד העולם
    Indonesia
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    In early 2022, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official confirmed during a briefing that Israel and Indonesia were working behind the scenes toward normalizing relations, with the United States acting as a mediator.
    Last August, an Israeli delegation of investors, and technology and trade specialists visited Indonesia. The volume of direct and indirect trade between Israel and Indonesia stands at approximately $500 million per year.
    According to the source, a delegation from Pakistan, which also doesn't have official ties with Jerusalem, was visiting Israel as well.
    Four members of the nine-men delegation live in the South Asian country while the others are prominent Americans of Pakistani origin, as well as a British Pakistani imam.
    Nasim Ashraf, a former development minister and former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Council, headed the delegation.
    A journalist from a Karachi news station was also part of the delegation. Other members preferred to keep their identities secret.
    The delegation conducted tours around Israel on the themes of geopolitics, history and religion, heritage, culture, and technology, with an emphasis on water management technologies. The delegation is scheduled to meet with President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem later this week.
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    Isaac Herzog speaks at the Knesset after his election as the next president of the State of Israel
    Isaac Herzog speaks at the Knesset after his election as the next president of the State of Israel
    President Isaac Herzog
    (Photo: TPS)
    Pakistan and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. However, earlier this year, Jerusalem took part in a large-scale naval exercise in the Red Sea led by the U.S. 5th Fleet alongside Pakistan and a number of other countries with which it has no diplomatic ties, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Comoros, Djibouti, Somalia, and Yemen.
    Israel attaches particular strategic importance to Pakistan as it is the only Muslim country with operational nuclear capabilities and due to its shared border with Iran.
    Last year, a Pakistani expert said that his country purchased technology from Israel in recent years to secure its arsenal of nuclear weapons.
    Noor Dehari, founder of the Institute of Islamic Theology Against Terrorism, pointed out that the technology was actually bought from Britain but transferred by the Israeli government.

    Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.
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