RIYADH: The Saudi ambassador to Indonesia, Issam Abed Al-Thaqafi, met Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Fakhir in Jakarta on Friday.
During the meeting, they discussed the relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the Middle East.
They also discussed the Makkah Route initiative which will be launched in Indonesia next Sunday. The initiative will facilitate the transfer of Indonesian pilgrims to the Kingdom.
Al-Thaqafi also met with the director general of the Indonesian News Agency, Meidyatama Suryodiningrat.
During the meeting, they discussed media relations between the two countries and the efforts exerted by the Kingdom in the serving Islam and Muslims.
The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims passing through airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries.
The initiative enables them to bypass the procedures upon arrival in the Kingdom, and to head directly to buses waiting to transport them to accommodation in Makkah and Madinah.
Under the initiative, service authorities deliver pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation in the holy cities.
Earlier, Al-Thaqafi inspected the preparations to launch the Makkah Route initiative for Hajj season at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.
During his tour, the ambassador met with the staff of the initiative. He also met with Indonesian officials to find out about facilities being provided by the Indonesian government for the initiative to serve Indonesian pilgrims from their departure until arrival safely in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Thaqafi expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their care and efforts in serving pilgrims.
The ambassador said: “The initiative was welcomed by officials of the Indonesian government and widely accepted by Indonesians.”