Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Ink Agreement for This Year’s Hajj
The Government of Indonesia and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday (01/08) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, signed an agreement on organizing this year’s hajj.
One of the provisions of the agreement signed by Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and Minister of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia Tawfiq F Al Rabiah is Indonesia’s hajj quota of 221,000 pilgrims for 2023.
“Alhamdulillah, thank God, the 2023 Hajj has started. I today signed the Hajj agreement with the Saudi Minister of Hajj. Indonesia’s hajj quota this year is 221,000 pilgrims,” the Minister said as quoted by Ministry of Religious Affairs’ official website, Tuesday (01/10).
According to the Minister, the quota for regular pilgrims is 203,320 and the quota for special pilgrims is 17,680.
The agreement also stipulated the landing of aircrafts in Jeddah and Medina as well as several new policies related to hajj pilgrimage services.
The Minister went on to say that there would be no age limit for pilgrims. Previously in 2022, due to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia set the age limit of 65 for the pilgrims.
“According to the agreement, this year there is no age limit for pilgrims. It means that pilgrims over 65 years of age can travel for the pilgrimage this year,” he said.
During the meeting, the Minister also expressed hope that there would be an additional quota for Indonesia so that it would reduce the number of currently very long lines of pilgrims.
In the meantime, Minister of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia, Tawfiq F Al Rabiah, expressed his gratitude that he was able to provide an additional quota of pilgrims for Indonesia. According to him, Indonesia is an important country for Saudi Arabia.
“Smoothness and safety for the pilgrims are our priority. Let me reaffirm that Indonesia will always get priority in obtaining additional quotas. [Perhaps] there are countries that reduce their number of pilgrims so the quota can be allocated to Indonesia,” Tawfiq said. (UN) (RI/MUR)