Indonesia will stand firm in its support of an independent Palestine and will not respond to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu most recent call for official bilateral relations, an official said on Thursday.
"We want to assert that Indonesia's support and efforts to push for the independence of Palestine will not change," Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
He also expressed disappointment that several senior Indonesian journalists had recently visited Israel, after being invited by Netanyahu, who said that he wanted to change public opinion about Israel.
During the meeting, the prime minister expressed his hopes that Indonesia and Israel would initiate official relations, saying that both countries had many opportunities to cooperate.
The ministry was aware that the Middle Eastern country had conducted similar activities in the past to promote its tourist and business sectors.
"We regret that such activities are politicized by Israel," he said.
Tantowi Yahya, a lawmaker from the House of Representatives commission I overseeing foreign and security affairs, said Indonesia's support of Palestine was in accordance with the Constitution, which asserts that independence is the natural right of every nation. (liz/rin)