Indonesia

Largest Muslim country on the way to diplomatic relations with Israel

After three months of secret negotiations, the largest Muslim country in the world is on its way to establishing diplomatic relations with Israel in exchange for membership in the OECD.

Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo: Shutterstock)

Another peace agreement?

Ynet reported this morning (Thursday) that following three months of secret negotiations, Indonesia - the largest Muslim country in the world - agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Israel in exchange for joining the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In order to join the OECD, you need a consensus of all 38 member countries in addition to having diplomatic relations with all of them.

About two weeks ago, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann sent Foreign Minister Israel Katz a letter whose wording was approved by Indonesia and which read: "I am happy to announce that the Council has officially agreed to the early, clear and explicit condition that Indonesia maintain diplomatic relations with all members of the organization before any decision to accept it to the OECD. Moreover, any future decision to accept Indonesia as a member of the organization will require unanimous agreement among all the members, including Israel. I am convinced that this provides you with security on this important point."

Last night, Katz responded to the letter: "I share your expectation that this process will be a change for Indonesia, as I expect a positive change in its policy towards Israel, and especially a renunciation of its discriminatory policy towards Israel, towards the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the parties."

But precisely at the beginning of the war it seemed that the peace agreement with Indonesia was moving away. At the beginning of the war, the Muslim state spoke out against Israel on several occasions and even expressed support for South Africa's lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Israel of genocide.

The foreign minister objected and announced that Indonesia would have to make a gesture towards Israel, which would testify to its intentions to normalize relations. Finally, it was agreed that relations between Indonesia and Israel would be mended before joining the OECD

In order for Indonesia to become a member of the OECD, it must go through a process of between two and three years that includes 26 expert committees that will review the legislation, policies and procedures in the country. Israeli representatives will participate in each of the committees, which of course, can help in the establishment of diplomatic relations.

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