Religious Affairs Minister seeks normal quota for Indonesian hajj pilgrims

Religious Affairs Minister seeks normal quota for Indonesian hajj pilgrims

Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin. (ANTARA/Asep Fathulrahman)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin left for Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, to ascertain the normal quota for Indonesias Hajj pilgrims before being cut by the Saudi government owing to the Haram Grand Mosques expansion project.

The minister made the statement here on Tuesday, adding that he will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi government regarding the Hajj quota.

According to Saifuddin, the MoU contains points of agreement on the Hajj quota of several countries, including Indonesia.

Indonesia has the honor of being the first country in the world to sign the MoU on quota for pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Indonesias annual Hajj quota was slashed by 20 percent, or 168 thousand, from 210 thousand pilgrims in recent years due to the expansion project of the Haram Grand Mosque.

Lukman further remarked that the restoration of normal quota for the Indonesian Hajj pilgrims will have a major impact on the services offered to the countrys citizens going on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

He stated that the implications of the restoration of quota not only have to do with accommodation and meals but are also associated with the service officers tending to Hajj pilgrims in the country and in Saudi Arabia, the minister added.

(Reported by Anom Prihantoro/Uu.B003/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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