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Israel denies entry to Indonesia's foreign minister visiting Palestine

The Indonesian people are staunch supporters of the Palestinian cause [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 March, 2016

In a move apparently meant to punish Indonesia for its pro-Palestinian moves, Israel denied entry to Jakarta's foreign minister who intended to visit Ramallah and inaugurate an honourary consular office.

The Israeli authorities have denied entry to Indonesia's foreign minister, who was scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel controls all border crossings to Palestine.

"The Israeli occupation authorities prevented today morning the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Ms. Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi and her delegation from entering Palestinian territories," said a statement by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday.

The Indonesian official was set to make an official visit to Ramallah and hold meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and counterpart Riyad al-Maliki.

Ms. Marsudi was also planning to attend an opening ceremony for the new honourary consulate of the Republic of Indonesia in Palestine.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry cancelled the programme and all media preparations accompanying what it said was the important visit by the Indonesian foreign minister.

The Palestinian foreign minister will now head to the Jordanian capital Amman to meet with his Indonesian counterpart there.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood and has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

There was speculation last week as to whether Israel would stop the Indonesian minister's visit to Palestine.

The Israeli move could be related to Indonesia's increasing involvement in the Palestinian issue.

Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo in Jakarta as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation held a summit meeting to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The summit was aimed at strengthening the OIC's support for the Palestinians, Indonesia's foreign ministry said, according to local media.

The global Muslim body then called for a ban on products from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and pledged full support for the "inalienable rights" of the Palestinians.

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