Landmark visit to Indonesia by King Salman will usher in new era: Envoy

Indonesian Ambassador Agus Maftuh Abegebriel. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 02 March 2017

Landmark visit to Indonesia by King Salman will usher in new era: Envoy

RIYADH: The landmark visit by King Salman to Indonesia beginning today, the first by a Saudi monarch since 1970, will usher in a new era of bilateral relations, Indonesian Ambassador Agus Maftuh Abegebriel told Arab News.
“King Salman is scheduled to tour Indonesia ... after the official visit of President Joko Widodo to the Kingdom in late 2015,” said Abegebriel.
“This historic visit is expected to mark a new level of relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia... in various fields and at all levels, including the government level as well as people-to-people exchange.”
He added: “Of all the fields of cooperation, I believe economic cooperation will be top of the list. This is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and Indonesia’s priorities for economic cooperation. As members of the G20, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have so much untapped potential in economic sectors, from trade and investments to the mining sector.”
Drafts of joint declarations, memoranda of understanding and agreements in various fields have been exchanged by the relevant ministries and institutions in both countries, including cooperation in the fields of trade, education, health, culture, information, science, technology, civil aviation, fisheries and combating transnational crimes, Abegebriel said.
“I think the fact that both governments are working as a team and hand-in-hand to make this visit a success in itself outweighs any agreement that may be signed thereof,” he added.
“I believe strategic and defense cooperation will be among the topics to be discussed... since Indonesia and Saudi Arabia signed a defense cooperation agreement in 2014, and it was discussed during the state visit of the president of the Republic of Indonesia in 2015.”
The envoy said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose headquarters are in Riyadh and Jakarta respectively, have had relations since 1990.
There is a lot of potential in enhanced cooperation between the two regional blocs, in light of impressive growth in trade and investment between them in the past decade, he added.
“Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, being one of the key players in ASEAN and the GCC respectively, will surely take into account the potential between these two inter-governmental organizations and ways to further enhance relations,” he said.
As Indonesia sends the largest number of Haj pilgrims annually, on the increased Haj quota Abegebriel said Indonesia “conveys its highest appreciation” to King Salman “for continuous efforts in very successfully organizing the most important rituals in Islam.”
The envoy said bilateral bonds started in the 13th century, when Muslim traders and Islamic scholars from the Arab world arrived in the Indonesian archipelago.
“Take for example, the high number of Arabic words that have been immersed into the Indonesian language, or the ways of celebrating Islamic festivals. All these signify the strong bonds between the peoples of the two brotherly countries,” he added.
“I believe cultural cooperation, designed among other things to further promote people-to-people contact, is also on the table and currently being discussed by the relevant ministries of the two governments. This visit is an important showcase of how strong cultural relations have been, and will be, between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.”
King Salman decorated the Indonesian president with the prestigious King Abdul Aziz Medal when he visited the Kingdom in September 2015.
To welcome King Salman, the Indonesian government has made elaborate civil and security arrangements with the Transportation Ministry, issuing a notice to all stakeholders to facilitate the smooth arrival and stay for the monarch, who is also expected on a private family trip to the island of Bali during his tour of the archipelago.

 


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 45 min 59 sec ago

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”