Vice President Jusuf Kalla in this file photo. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

VP Meets With King Salman, Discusses Partnership Commitments

BY :NOVI SETUNINGSIH

MARCH 04, 2017

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla discussed the new Indonesia-Saudi Arabia partnerships with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud in a meeting on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by the king at the Raffles Hotel in South Jakarta on Friday evening (03/03).

"King Salman has committed himself to implement all partnership initiatives that have been agreed upon with the Indonesian government. They [the king and vice president] have also expressed their commitment to reinforce bilateral cooperation in various sectors," Kalla's spokesman Husain Abdullah said.

Husain said that Kalla has also expressed his appreciation of Saudi hospitality toward Indonesian hajj pilgrims.

"Aside from discussing the partnerships established during King Salman's visit to Indonesia, [the vice president] also thanked [the Saudi government] for welcoming 1.2 million Indonesian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina every year," he said.

Kalla was accompanied by Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and vice presidential secretary M. Oemar.

Kalla and King Salman had previously met when the vice president attended a state ceremony on the passing of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in 2015.

During the Indonesian tour, King Salman witnessed the signing of 11 agreements in various sectors, including security, health, culture, education, trade, investment, agriculture, fishery, small-medium enterprises, civil aviation operations and religious cooperation.

These agreements have been estimated to reach the total value of $7 billion.

After Jakarta, the delegation is set to enjoy their holiday in Bali, where five hotels and 300 luxury cars have been booked for more than a week.

The Saudi king is travelling with an entourage of 1,500 people and nearly 500 tons of luggage, including two gold-coloured escalators.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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