King Salman arrives in Indonesia

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Bogor: Cheering crowds welcomed King Salman as he began the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Indonesia for almost 50 years, seeking stronger economic ties with the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

The king who is accompanied by about 1,000 people travelling on several aircraft including princes and ministers, disembarked from his plane using an escalator as he arrived at an airport in Jakarta, his latest stop on an Asian tour.

The 81-year-old was greeted by President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, and Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian who is standing trial for blasphemy.

Crowds of flag-waving schoolchildren lined the route as a convoy of vehicles carrying the king and his entourage sped through pouring rain to a presidential palace in the nearby city of Bogor, where a marching band played the Indonesian national anthem.

Almost 460 tonnes of equipment have been flown in for the visit, including Mercedes limousines, with most transported to the Hindu resort island of Bali, where Salman will go on holiday after visiting Jakarta.

Widodo hailed Salman’s trip as “historic” and said he hoped it could lead to closer economic ties.

Salman said he hoped the visit would “contribute to the improvement of the bilateral relationship between our two countries”.

The visit, the first by a Saudi Arabian king to Indonesia for 47 years, is one of the highlights of a rare Saudi royal tour of Asia which is seeking investment as the world’s biggest oil exporter tries to diversify its economy.

The monarch and his entourage will reportedly stay in 5 luxury hotels in Bali for several days following the visit to Jakarta.

Business deals could be announ­ced, and a series of cooperation memoranda are also set to be signed on issues ranging from security, to health and education.

The king is due to give a speech to parliament today.

Source by: Internet

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