January 20, 2021

Australia denies harm to the relationship with Indonesia because of its position on Israel

Australia denies harm to the relationship with Indonesia because of its position on Israel



Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied today that the possibility of his government recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has damaged relations with Indonesia, the country with which it wants to sign a new free trade agreement.

"Our agreement with them is on track," Morrison told reporters, insisting that "Indonesian Trade Minister (Enggartiasto Lukita) has made it publicly clear" the desire to move forward with the process.

Canberra and Jakarta concluded negotiations in August on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and Australia, which is expected to be signed by the end of the year and represents more than A $ 16.5 billion ($ 11,773 million or $ 10,172 million) in bilateral trade. .

But Morrison's announcement on Tuesday of a possible change in policy towards the Middle East, which includes the possible transfer of the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, raised doubts about the agreement with Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the country. world and ally of Palestine.

Before the controversy, Morrison affirmed that his government maintains a good relation with Indonesia and that yesterday maintained a "hot exchange" with the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, in a telephone conversation.

The controversy coincided with the visit of the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al Maliki, to Jakarta, where he warned of commercial reprisals from the Arab and Muslim world against Australia and the possible violation of resolutions of the UN Security Council.

"Australia risks its commercial and business relations with the rest of the world and in particular the Arab and Muslim world," Al Maliki said during a press conference with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi.

The Indonesian foreign minister asked Australia to continue supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process under the principles that have already been agreed upon.

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