Indonesian Health Ministry Denies Sending Delegation to Israel



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Health Ministry spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Wednesday denied sending a delegate to Israel to study the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, negating reports by foreign news agencies. 

    “No one from the Health Ministry traveled there,” said the spokesperson on January 19. 

    This was first reported by Israel’s Army Radio, which is the country’s official military media outlet, mentioning the visit of an Indonesian health official in talks about strategies in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The Times of Israel also published the article. It said that the visit of the Indonesian Health Ministry delegation was part of the United States’ attempt to improve ties between the middle-eastern country with Muslim-majority countries. 

    The narrative was highlighted by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken who had raised the idea of Indonesia joining the Abraham Accord - brokered under the previous U.S. administration led by Donald Trump - with Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi. 

    However, Minister Retno Marsudi insisted that Indonesia’s position remains consistent with the people of Palestine and their current struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah on Tuesday told Tempo that he is unaware of such an event and asserted that there is no official information of an Indonesian state official departing to Israel.

    Read: Minister Retno Addresses Blinken's Indonesia-Israel Normalization Comment