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Jokowi aide quashes report Indonesia was set to open ties with Israel

Jakarta Post - March 5, 2024

Jakarta – A senior aide to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a statement rejecting speculation that Indonesia plans to open bilateral relations with Israel.

Coordinator of President Jokowi's special aides Ari Dwipayana said in a statement issued late last week that no deal had been struck between Indonesia and Israel on the establishment of diplomatic relations.

"The information is completely incorrect," Ari said in a statement quoted by Antara.

Ari was referring to a dispatch published by the Israeli newspaper Jewish Insider published on Feb. 28 that Israel and Indonesia had planned to announce the establishment of diplomatic relations in October 2023, a move that was delayed by the Hamas terror attack on Israel and subsequent war in Gaza.

In an article titled "Israel, Indonesia were on track to normalize ties before Oct. 7: sources", the news outlet claims that Israel's then-foreign minister Eli Cohen and President Jokowi's office approved a final draft of an agreement for the Jewish state and Indonesia to exchange trade offices, as a first step toward full diplomatic relations.

Jewish Insider reported that October 2023 was a likely date for the official announcement, in conjunction with a planned meeting of the Negev Forum in the middle of the month, though November, when Widodo visited the White House, was also under consideration.

The news outlet also claimed that Andi Widjajanto, a senior adviser to Jokowi, and Ronen Levy, then the director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and one of the key Israeli players in the Abraham Accords, met in Jerusalem in September, along with Dan Shapiro, who at the time was the State Department's senior advisor for regional integration.

Ari added that President Jokowi never dispatched any special envoy to hold talks with Israel.

"The President is only represented by the statements and stance of the foreign minister," Ari said, referring to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/world/2024/03/05/jokowi-aide-quashes-report-indonesia-was-set-to-open-ties-with-israel.htm