Report: Israel blocks Indonesian foreign minister’s visit to PA

The Israeli government barred Indonesia's foreign minister from visiting Ramallah, after she refused to similarly meet with Israel officials, according to a report in Haaretz.

Israel and Indonesia – the world's most populous Muslim country – have no formal diplomatic relations, and Jakarta regularly strikes a hostile tone vis-a-vis the Jewish state.

At a meeting last week of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Indonesia President Joko Widodo called on Muslim nations to unite in fighting Israel.

Now, it seems, Jerusalem has struck back, and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will be forced to hold the meeting with her Palestinian Authority counterpart Riyad al Maliki in the Jordanian capital Amman, according to the report.

The move appears to mark a shift from Israel's previous policy of only allowing representatives of nations with which it has diplomatic relations to visit the PA if they also meet with Israeli officials. Until now, Muslim states have however been allowed to enter Ramallah and other PA-controlled areas freely.

According to the Haaretz report Israeli and Indonesian government officials were in contact for several days prior to attempt to smooth over the issue, to no avail.

While Israel and Indonesia – home to some 200 million Muslims – have no formal diplomatic ties, the two countries do trade with one another, and Israeli business delegations often visit Indonesia.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/209318

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