Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Foreign Ministry affirmed that Indonesia has no plan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel to be accepted as a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"I emphasize that until now, we have no plan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, particularly as Israel has yet to cease its atrocities in Gaza until now," spokesperson Lalu Muhamad Iqbal noted in his statement received here on Thursday (April 11) evening.

He reiterated that Indonesia's stance will not change, and the country will persevere in supporting Palestinian independence and the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict under the framework of the two-state solution.

"Indonesia will always be consistent and will be on the front line to defend the rights of the Palestinian nation," the spokesperson stressed.

Regarding Indonesia's accession to the OECD, Iqbal noted that Indonesia needs to undergo a long process and thorough preparation before being accepted in the organization. A roadmap on Indonesia's accession will be adopted next May, he added.

"Each aspirant member state has a different timeframe to conclude its accession process to OECD. The process hinges on the country's preparation," he remarked.

Iqbal noted that some countries required three to five years to complete their accession process to the OECD. Hence, he could not ascertain when Indonesia would be accepted as an OECD full member.

Israeli media outlets earlier reported that Indonesia agreed to "normalize" relations with Israel in exchange for the country's approval of Indonesia's OECD membership.

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The report informed that the consensus was reached through a secret deliberation that took place for three months between Jakarta, Tel Aviv, and OECD Secretary-General Matthias Korman.

According to an unnamed Israeli official, normalization of Indonesia-Israel relations will mark a significant progress amid the height of anti-Israeli sentiment due to its aggression in the Gaza Strip.

The establishment of diplomatic relations will also end Israeli resistance to Indonesia's accession to the OECD, according to Israeli media reports.

Indonesia is the first country in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia to achieve the "open for accession discussion" status for full membership in the OECD.

During its accession process, OECD's 38 member states will thoroughly examine each aspirant member state on various aspects before declaring approval for its membership. The process may take five to seven years.

The Indonesian government expressed hope that its accession process to the OECD will be completed in two or three years, as Indonesia had become the country with the fastest accession approval in seven months.

Indonesia's OECD membership could benefit the national economy and is expected to boost investment from OECD countries by 0.37 percent and increase Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 0.94 percent.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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