VP Ma’ruf Amin Receives a Visit from Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on Wednesday (10/26), received a visit from Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Fawzan Muhammed Alrabiah at the Vice-Presidential Palace, in Jakarta, on Wednesday (10/26).
During the meeting, the Vice President expressed his appreciation for the Saudi Government’s policies for Indonesian umrah and hajj pilgrims.
“I would like to express my gratitude for the various new policies that have been addressed, both in terms of umrah and hajj visits, which have provided many facilities for the pilgrims, particularly Indonesian pilgrims,” the Vice President said.
According to the Vice President, as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesian people have a great interest to visit Saudi Arabia for both hajj and umrah.
The Vice President believes that the various concessions provided by the Saudi Government for Indonesian pilgrims will increase the enthusiasm of Indonesian Muslims to visit the holy land.
“With these opportunities, you can go anywhere besides Mecca and Medina, and I think it will really encourage Indonesians to be even more willing to go for umrah and see various areas outside the Haram [the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina],” he said.
The Vice President, on the other hand, requested that the Saudi Arabian government pay special attention to the placement of Indonesian pilgrims in Mina so that they are not too far from the location of throwing the jumrah.
The meeting also discussed trade cooperation between the two countries. The vice president invited the Saudi Arabian Government to jointly build partnerships in trade sector.
“Of course, we hope for a good trade relation, both for Hajj and for other interests. We also want to open trade to export goods needed by pilgrims, particularly Indonesians, during umrah and hajj,” he added.
The Vice President expressed his hopes that the long-standing relationship between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia will become closer and more harmonious.
“Indonesia-Saudi relations have been running for a long time, not just between governments but also the two peoples. Many Indonesians live in Saudi Arabia, and some even passed away there. So, since time immemorial, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have had a very strong relationship,” the Vice President remarked.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Fawzan Muhammed Alrabiah, addressed various new Saudi Arabian Government’s policies regarding the implementation of umrah and hajj for Indonesian pilgrims.
Some of these policies include extending the validity period of the umrah visa from initially 30 days to 90 days, making it easier to apply for a departure visa, which can now be done independently and electronically (no need to go through a travel agent), and allowing people to visit other cities outside Mecca and Medina.
Regarding the transfer of the placement of Indonesian pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah stated that Saudi Arabia’s Government was very concerned about it. Tawfiq, on the other hand, admitted that Mina is very narrow and small.
“I promise before His Excellency Mr. Vice President, when I return from Indonesia, I will immediately discuss the placement of Indonesian pilgrims in Mina, maybe not all of them, but we can provide the [best] place,” Tawfiq concluded.
Attending the meeting, among others, were Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Indonesia Esam A. Abid Althagafi. (Bureau of Press, Media, and Information of Vice President’s Secretariat/UN)(YC/AW/LW)