Globe showing Indonesia > Bennylin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A delegation of Indonesian officials have made a rare visit to Israel to discuss Coronavirus response strategies.

The reports come despite the fact that the two countries do not have formal diplomatic ties due to Indonesia’s refusal to recognise Israel.

The Indonesian officials met with Israeli counterparts in an effort “to learn how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic”, the report said.

The report claimed that the meeting took place in “recent weeks”, without specifying when exactly.

The visit was reportedly part of efforts by the Biden administration to warm ties between Israel and Indonesia in the hope of expanding the Abraham Accords, which normalised relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in 2020.

An Israeli foreign ministry statement simply stated that Israel “believes in international cooperation in every regard to the fight against the coronavirus” and is prepared to share information and experience.

Indonesia was hit hard by the Delta variant in 2021 and has seen Omicron cases soar in recent months.

While the two countries do not have diplomatic relations, there have been backchannel overtures to normalise relations for years.

December 2021 saw the prospect of Israel-Indonesia normalisation raised by US secretary of state Anthony Blinken, as well as public engagement between Israeli and Indonesian defence officials.