22 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 02/25/2017, 15.40


    Oil. Pilgrimage, and Saudi king’s visit to Indonesia

    Mathias Hariyadi

    On 1 March, King Salman will arrive in Jakarta on an official visit. Breaking with Protocol, President Widodo will welcome him in person at the airport. The Saudi monarch will travel with an entourage of about 1,500 people, including government ministers and princes. The visit includes a short vacation in Bali.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Saudi King Salman will meet with Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during his official visit to the Southeast Asian country set to start on 1 March.

    The two leaders will discuss, among other things, Saudi investments in Indonesia, particularly in the oil sector, permits for the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah and the promotion of a moderate Islam to counter extremist and jihadist movements at the local and international levels.

    The Saudi king will be accompanied by a large delegation: 1,500 people, including ten government ministers and 15 princes. After a few days in Jakarta, where he will meet with the country’s highest civil and religious authorities, King Salman will travel to the island of Bali for a short period of vacation and relaxation.

    The main topic of discussion for Saudi Arabia will be its largescale investments in the construction of fuel storage depots in Celica, central Java. For Indonesia, hajj permits will top the list. For some time, the latter have been a source of friction with the Saudis.

    Every year thousands of people are excluded from the quota reserved for Indonesians who want to go on the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, one of the five pillars of Islam. Pilgrims can wait up to five and even ten years before they can make the trip, despite completing all the formalities and paying the fees to visit Islam’s most sacred site.

    The importance of King Salman’s visit and the special attention given by Jakarta to the Saudi monarch is evidenced by the fact that, breaking with protocol, President Widodo will personally welcome the distinguished guest at an Indonesian Air Force base in East Jakarta.

    One advance Saudi party is already in Jakarta and another one is in Bali to work out the last details for King Salman’s arrival and accommodations. A special elevator will be used to allow the king to leave the plane on his arrival in Indonesia.

    Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has long maintained close ties with Saudi Arabia. The country’s version of Islam is moderate, despite some episodes of sectarian intolerance and violence. However, a more radical version of Islam is emerging in some parts of the country, in many cases thanks to Saudi funding for Wahhabi-inspired schools.

    For Foreign Ministry spokesperson Armanatha Nasir, the type of reception reserved for the Saudi king “is normal”, including the presence of President Widodo at the airport. "We are the most populous Muslim nation in the world and Saudi Arabia is the holy land for Muslims around the world, including Indonesian Muslims," he explained.

    The promotion of moderate Islam will be one of the most important issues at the centre of talks between the two sides, coupled with the problem of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and related residence permits.

    The official visit, which follows Widodo’s visit to Saudi Arabia in September 2015, will include an address by King Salman to the Indonesian parliament. 

    This is the first time that a Saudi monarch visits Indonesia in almost 50 years. The last time was in 1970 when Suharto was president.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    24/09/2009 KOREA
    Seoul’s hard-line position leading to collapse of intra-Korean relations
    South Korea is blocking humanitarian aid worth millions of dollars and visits to the North. The humanitarian emergency might get worse if trade relations collapse.

    24/04/2009 TURKEY - ARMENIA
    Armenian genocide, gas obstruct agreement between Ankara and Yerevan
    Turkey and Armenia have announced the intention in principle to normalize their relations, under pressure from the United States. but even more important than the question of recognition of the genocide in 1915, there is Azerbaijan between the two countries, threatening to route its gas to Russia.

    13/04/2006 SYRIA – IRAN
    Rafsanjani in Damascus to confirm Iran-Syria ties
    US pressures are the main reason for the two countries' strategic alliance. Iran's former president meets Assad and Hezbollah leader.

    01/06/2006 VATICAN – CHINA
    In China the Church only wants to run its own affairs, says Mgr Lajolo
    The Pope's 'foreign minister' says the Chinese government should not interfere in the appointment of bishops. The normalisation of relations would be good for social peace. Benedict XVI and Aleksij II might meet in the "not so distant future".

    25/04/2009 TURKEY - ARMENIA
    Obama recalls Armenian genocide, but avoids using the word, disliked by the Turks
    On the day recalling the extermination of the Armenians, the American president avoids using the word that Turkey does not want to hear, but praises and supports the effort of normalization taken by the two countries.

    Editor's choices

    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)

    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.

    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug

    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®