Saudi king indicators vary of offers in Indonesia at begin of go to | Information


By Darren Whiteside
| BOGOR, Indonesia

BOGOR, Indonesia Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held talks with Indonesia’s president on Wednesday and signed a variety of cooperation agreements in the beginning of a 12-day go to to the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

The royal go to is the primary by a Saudi monarch in practically 5 many years.

The leaders oversaw, amongst 11 pacts, the signing of agreements to take down commerce boundaries and a brand new settlement between state power corporations Saudi Aramco and Pertamina, constructing on an current $6 billion plan to develop Indonesia’s largest refinery.

The octogenarian king arrived at a navy air base within the capital, Jakarta, earlier on Wednesday and descended slowly from the aircraft on an escalator earlier than being met by President Joko Widodo who escorted him alongside a purple carpet flanked by guards to a limousine.

King Salman is being accompanied by an entourage that Indonesian officers have stated might quantity as much as 1,500. His social gathering is bringing 459 tons of bags and gear, together with two luxurious automobiles, in response to media.

The king was additionally greeted by Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta’s Christian governor, who’s on trial for allegedly insulting the Koran. Purnama has denied wrongdoing however his blasphemy trial has infected spiritual tensions.

The dominion’s ambassador to Indonesia advised Information on Tuesday the 2 nations would cooperate in tackling terrorism and that navy officers have been coaching in one another’s nations to counter Islamic State militants.

Secular Indonesia has grown more and more involved about safety, after a number of assaults over the previous yr blamed on supporters of Islamic State, and has deployed at the very least 9,000 police and navy for the 12-day go to.

Roads have been closed to visitors and snipers stationed alongside the route the king’s convoy took from the airport to the presidential palace within the city of Bogor.

A whole bunch of kids holding Indonesian and Saudi flags welcomed the king.


King Salman held talks with Widodo as torrential rain lashed the palace grounds.

He may also meet spiritual leaders, make a speech at parliament, and go to Southeast Asia’s largest mosque, Istiqlal, on Thursday earlier than a quick journey to Brunei after which an prolonged break on the Indonesian vacation island of Bali.

Indonesia hopes to draw billions of of funding from the dominion, although the journey may also give attention to constructing cultural and spiritual ties and selling schooling.

Saudi Arabia goals to open extra Islamic faculties in Indonesia, which is able to educate faith utilizing the Arabic language, and step up the variety of scholarships for college students.

The king’s go to to Indonesia comes as fringe Islamist teams develop in affect and Muslim leaders take an more and more strict line on Islamic points, which is at odds with Indonesia’s conventional model of reasonable Islam.

“The 2 nations face the identical problem of rising radicalism and intolerance so cooperation in these areas might be useful,” stated Yenny Wahid, a reasonable Indonesian Muslim determine and head of the Wahid Basis.

“Saudi Arabia has been aggressive in de-radicalization and rehab applications for terrorists. We are able to be taught greatest practices from one another.”

King Salman began his Asia journey in Malaysia and in addition to the Brunei cease he’ll go to Japan, China, the Maldives after which Jordan.

(Extra reporting by Jakarta bureau; Writing by Ed Davies and Kanupriya Kapoor; Enhancing by Michael Perry, Robert Birsel)