Saudi Arabia's King Salman has postponed a visit to the Maldives due to an outbreak of flu, the government of the Indian Ocean archipelago said on Friday (17/03). (Reuters Photo/Faisal Al Nasser)

Saudi King to Visit Indonesia With 1,500 Strong Entourage in March


FEBRUARY 23, 2017

Jakarta. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has confirmed he will visit Indonesia on March 1-9, kicking off with a state visit to meet President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on March 1-3 and cap it off with a short trip to Bali on March 4-9. The king will have an entourage of around 1,500 men with him.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung announced King Salman’s visit on Tuesday (21/02), pointing out this is a historical visit for a Saudi king to Indonesia, since the last one was in 1970.


Pramono added that Jokowi will bestow Indonesia's highest honorary medal to King Salman, in reply to the honorary medal given to Jokowi during his state visit to Saudi Arabia.

The minister said Jokowi will welcome the Saudi king as he arrives at the airport, the first time the Indonesian president has done so for a state guest.

"Why are we doing it? Because when President Jokowi visited Saudi Arabia, he was welcomed on his arrival at the airport by King Salman himself. Their relationship is a tight one, very tight," Pramono said.

While in Indonesia, the Saudi king will sign a $6 billion investment agreement on Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco’s complex in Cilacap, Central Java.

Other agreements on various projects totaling $1 billion in value will also be signed.

"The president expects Saudi’s investment in Indonesia will eventually total $25 billion," Pramono said.

National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Chief Suhardi Alius meanwhile said he had made an agreement with the Saudi Arabia government to help families of deceased Densus 88 — Indonesia's elite anti-terror force — personnel to go on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Five families have already completed the hajj pilgrimage, which are fully paid for by the Saudi government. The gulf kingdom considers Densus 88 who were killed in action as Muslim martyrs.

"King Salman's visit to Indonesia is an honor for us, and also shows the close relationship between the Indonesian government and the Saudi kingdom," Pramono said.