Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with several ulemas and chiefs of Islamic boarding schools (Pesantren) across Aceh Province on Friday to discuss a Pesantren bill.

"Admittedly, the government is encouraging (the enactment of Pesantren law) to serve as a great legal umbrella," he noted at a discussion held in Ballroom Aceh 1 at Hermes Hotel in Banda Aceh.

The government has proposed the bill to serve long-term interests, specifically to empower and develop Pesantren across Indonesia, Jokowi stated.

Indonesia now has 28 thousand Pesantren, he noted.

The law is needed to offer a legal basis for the allocation of budget fund to Pesantren, he explained.

The president said state budget allocations for Pesantren will be useful for the development of Pesantren, including salaries for their teachers.

At the meeting, the president also discussed Islam Wasatiyah, or moderate Islam, with the ulemas.

"Almost all countries have agreed that Islam Wasatiyah is a good way for us all," he noted while referring to participants of the world ulemas and Muslim intellectuals consultation summit held in Bogor, West Java, in May 2018.

As many as 105 ulemas, including Teungku Muhammad Ismi or Abu Madinah, began to arrive at the hotel where the president was staying in Aceh at 7 a.m. local time.

The meeting is part of the president`s visit to the westernmost Indonesian province.

Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo, Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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