Israel is in contacts to normalize relations with Indonesia, i24NEWS reported Monday, over a year after the signing of the Abraham Accords.
A high-ranking official in the Foreign Ministry confirmed to i24NEWS that the contacts are taking place behind the scenes, facilitated by the US.
“The goal is to normalize relations with Indonesia and Saudi Arabia,” the official said. “These are the two countries we want to reach an agreement with, but it is a slow process that takes a lot of time and effort. We hope for the best.”
In 2020, Israel signed the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, normalizing relations with all four nations. Both Israel and the US have expressed their desire to see the normalization agreements expanded to include other Arab and Muslim nations.
Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world at 231 million.
Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the possibility of Indonesia normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel in meetings with officials in Jakarta.
Several years ago, Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on Muslim nations to unite in fighting Israel.
Last year, the country’s foreign minister expressed her country’s firm position in support of the Palestinian Authority in ending the “Israeli occupation of its land”.
In 2016, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for Israel and Indonesia to develop bilateral relations. Indonesia promptly rejected those calls, saying the country will stand firm in its support of an independent Palestinian state and will not respond to Netanyahu’s remarks.