Knesset members welcomed in Indonesia

MKs Avi Dichter (Likud) and Nira Shpak (Yesh Atid) led an Israeli delegation to an International Parliamentary Union conference in Bali, the first official Israeli visit in 30 years.

  MKs Avi Dichter and Nira Shpak greeted at the International Parliamentary Union conference in Indonesia, March 21, 2022.  (photo credit: LIAT MARGALIT)
MKs Avi Dichter and Nira Shpak greeted at the International Parliamentary Union conference in Indonesia, March 21, 2022.
(photo credit: LIAT MARGALIT)

Israeli elected officials came to Indonesia on an official visit for the first time in nearly 30 years on Monday.

MKs Avi Dichter (Likud) and Nira Shpak (Yesh Atid) led an Israeli delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Bali. They met with parliamentary members from around the world and represented Israel as the future of Ukraine and the Middle East were discussed.

Dichter was elected to head an IPU committee on fighting terrorism. No Palestinian delegation attended the event.

“The governments of Israel and Arab countries understand the importance of stability, unity, prosperity, peace and friendship in the Middle East for the good of all the countries in the region,” Shpak said.

Israel does not have relations with Indonesia, which was visited by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.

 Indonesia's flag (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY) Indonesia's flag (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

A recent series of meetings, statements and reports in the last few months of 2021 indicate that Israel and Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, have grown closer.

The two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations, but they cooperate in trade and tourism, and the Foreign Ministry maintains a Facebook page in Indonesian.

Jakarta was in talks with the Trump administration in December 2020 to normalize ties with Jerusalem, and the US International Development Finance Corporation offered to double its investment in Indonesia, but to no avail.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.