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(photo credit: Indonesian Mission to the United States)
Indonesia will allow its national women's tennis team to take part in a Fed Cup playoff in Israel in July, despite the absence of diplomatic relations between the nations.
August Ferry Raturandang, deputy secretary-general of Indonesian Tennis Association, on Wednesday said Indonesia's Foreign Ministry would not prevent the players from traveling to Tel Aviv and would be helped in acquiring travel documents.
It had been unclear if the players would go because of Indonesia's delicate political relationship with Israel.
The Indonesian tennis association, known as Pelti, had asked the International Tennis Association to move the venue to a neutral country. But the ITF declined to intervene in the matter and Israel insisted that the July 14-15 competition go ahead as planned in Israel.
The Indonesians earlier refused to compromise, saying they would prefer to pay a $5,000 fine and be banned for one year for not showing up.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said Wednesday "it is possible" for the Indonesia team to play in Israel and his office would help facilitate the trip.
Indonesia, which has the largest population of Muslims in the world, has long supported Palestinian independence. Palestine's foreign minister is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Thursday for a two-day official visit.
The ITA had no official comment on the matter. Spokesman Lidor Goldberg explained that the ITA has been in constant contact with their Indonesian counterparts and never ceased preparations for the tie, which may take place for the first time on clay courts in Herzliya.
"We know that this is not a regular situation," Goldberg told The Jerusalem Post, referring to the added security concerns for the visiting squad and the diplomatic effort to attain visas. But he expressed confidence that the tie will go ahead without any problems.
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