Minggu, 12 Maret 2017


Jakarta, March 12 , 2017(Antara)- The just ended visit of King Salman bin Abdulazis al-Saud to Indonesia is historic as this is for the first time a sitting Saudi King has visited Indonesia in 47 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
   The visit is also memorable as enthusiastic crowds always lined the routes of the King¿s convoy to welcome and greet the 82-year-old King while visiting Jakarta, Bogor or Bali. 
    The King and his 1,500-member entourage that included 25 princes, 10 ministers, and businessmen, stayed for 12 days in Indonesia that comprised a three-day state visit and an eight-day vacation in Bali, one of the world¿s most famous tourist islands.
          The state visit was productive as eleven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) was signed by high ranking officials of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
            One of the MoUs is the commitment of the Saudi government to invest in a project development worth US$1 billion, called The Saudi Fund Contribution to the Financing of Development Project.  Besides the 11 MoUs, both countries have also agreed to conduct annual Joint Commission meetings.
        After concluding his state visit, the King went to Brunei Darussalam for a half day and then returned to Indonesia for holiday in Bali.
        Initially, the King and entourage planned to stay in Bali from March 4 to 9, but later they decided to extend the vacation on the island until March 12, as they seemed to very much enjoy the white sand beach of the Indian Ocean.  

   The decision was described by Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Indonesia Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaibi as the King's approval of Balinese beautiful beaches and its pleasant weather.

        About 2,500 security personnel comprising police and military officers as well as Balinese traditional security guards called "pecalang" were deployed in various areas to guard the King in Bali
     March 12 was the time for the Indonesians to bid a farewell to the Saudi King who had to travel to Japan to continue his Asian tour.
        President Jokowi spoke to King Salman al-Saud by phone in the morning to bid a farewell to the King.
         President Jokowi personally wished the King a safe journey before the King left Bali for Japan, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying by Bey Machmudin, head of the Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat.
        The Indonesian Head of State thanked the King and his delegation for the visit to Indonesia.  
      Within the next two months, President Jokowi will assign related ministers to materialize the results of King al-Saud's visit to Indonesia, according to the minister.   
      Meanwhile, the Saudi King expressed his appreciation to the government and people of Indonesia for warm welcome. He and his entourage felt very happy during their stay in Indonesia.
         "The King hoped that the exchanges of visit both by the government officials and the private sector, could be intensified," Retno Marsudi said.
         Minister Retno Marsudi paid a courtesy call on King Salman Al-Saud in St Regis Hotel in Bali, prior to the King's departure.
          The King reiterated his hope that Saudi Arabia and Indonesia would strengthen bilateral cooperation including in the economic field.
            According to King Salman, as countries with open economy, it will be easier for the two nations to step up economic cooperation, Retno Marsudi said.
         The King was seen off by among others Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifudin, and Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.
         The King's Boeing 747 plane took off at 11:45 a.m. local time and headed to Tokyo.
         The Bali airport was closed for 45 minutes during the departure of the King. Five international flights and 13 domestic flights were affected due to the temporary closure.
         Thousands of Balinese lined the route to see the cars of Saudi King  Salman  al-Saud and his big entourage past  from Nusa Dua to the Ngurah Rai Airport.
        "I want to see the King, hopefully he would open the window of his car," a local people Nurhayati said enthusiastically.
        Nurhayati from Tuban, Kuta, closed her trading business temporarily only hoping to see a glimpse of the King, which had won the hearth of the Balinese during his holiday on the island.
        "This is a historic visit.  Very rarely I see an Arab king. I would be happy just to be able to see his car past by," she said.
         By the time the cars appeared in procession, the people waved their hands repeatedly  and enthusiastically.
        The crowd did not stop waving their hands when the king arrived at the airport.
       King Salman al-Saud called Indonesia his second home for the extraordinarily warm welcome given to him by the Indonesian people, according to Indonesian Vice President M Jusuf Kalla after meeting the King in Jakarta, earlier. ***2***
(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/A. Abdussalam) 12-03-2017

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