Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Agree to Further Strengthen Ties

Christian Lee
April 15, 2019 | 8:09 pm
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at his palace in Riyadh on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the State Palace)
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at his palace in Riyadh on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the State Palace)

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have agreed during a bilateral meeting in Riyadh on Sunday to further strengthen economic ties between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

"President Jokowi and King Salman agreed to increase economic cooperation in the future, especially in the energy and tourism sectors," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after the meeting.

The Saudi government has also agreed to raise Indonesia's annual hajj quota by 10,000 to 231,000 pilgrims.

Ace Hasan Syadzily, deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission VIII, which oversees religious affairs, said Indonesians currently spend up to 18 years on average on a waiting list to perform the hajj pilgrimage.

"The additional hajj quota will reduce the waiting list for Indonesian pilgrims. In South Sulawesi, the waiting list is up to 40 years," Ace said in a statement on Monday.

He added that the increased quota would not have been granted if Indonesia did not have close ties with Saudi Arabia.

Jokowi also met with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to discuss cooperation on counterterrorism and spreading a more moderate brand of Islam.

They also discussed ways the two countries can work together to support the Palestinian cause.

"As we know, the future of Palestine is becoming more unclear and it is the duty of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia to continue improving cooperation and to support the Palestinian cause," Retno said.

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