Hints have been dropped that major financial inducements are on the table to persuade Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, to recognise Israel.
In an interview published on Tuesday with the Bloomberg financial news group, Adam Boehler, chief executive of the US International Development Finance Corporation, said that Indonesia could come in for between $1 and $2 billion more in funding, if it becomes the latest country to recognise and normalise relations with the Jewish state.
Boehler told Bloomberg: “We’re talking to them about it, If they’re ready, they’re ready, and if they are, then we’’ be happy to support even more financially than what we already do”.
Boehler made his comments in Jerusalem, where he had arrived as part of a high-level delegation led by America’s Middle East envoy, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Boehler and Kushner flew on from Israel for talks in Morocco with leaders including king Mohammed VI.
But a Democratic Party politician warned that because the Trump administration was in its last days, the Indonesians may not want to rely on the proposed financial inducements. There was no guarantee that President-elect Joe Biden would agree to any such “sweetener” to bring Indonesia on board. He told the JTA: “The Development Finance Corp was designed as a development tool, not an incentive for political developments”.
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