Israel and Indonesia have been communicating secretly, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely revealed on Wednesday, in the course of an explanation of why the Indonesian foreign minister was blocked from entering Ramallah earlier in the week.
“There have been secret contacts with Indonesia, with which we don’t have diplomatic relations, and there were understandings that were rudely broken and so we blocked her entry,” Hotoveli said.
“This was a breach of diplomatic protocol, and the most honorable thing to do is to respect the protocols, so when you break them don’t be surprised that you bar yourself from visiting the [Palestinian Authority].”
The Indonesian diplomat, Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, was met by Palestinian Authority PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Jordan instead of with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. She had planned to be in the PA headquarters to inaugurate an honorary consulate.
Responding to a question in the Knesset about the current spat with the world’s most populous Moslem nation, Hotovely also said that head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia Division Mark Sofer went to Jakarta to try to compose differences after the incident.
At that meeting, Israeli and Indonesian officials agreed that Marsudi would meet with senior Israeli officials in Yerushalayim during her visit to the region.
This is the procedure for all foreign officials; they visit Yerushalayim and Ramallah, Hotovely stated, and that includes Indonesia.
“It was the Foreign Minister of Indonesia’s decision to violate that understanding, and she understood that, by her action of skipping Jerusalem, she is going against the rules Israel set for official visits to the PA and Israel,” Hotovely stated.