Hajj organizers want suspension order on Indonesian pilgrims revoked

Hajj organizers want suspension order on Indonesian pilgrims revoked

Pilgrims circumambulate the holy Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, before the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANTARA/Yudi Abdullah/21)

We hope the relevant ministries could lobby the Saudi authority to rescind their suspension order on Indonesia, thus allowing Indonesian pilgrims to visit the Holy Cities
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Association of Indonesian Hajj and Umrah Organisers (Amphuri) has appealed to the Saudi Arabian authorities to rescind a suspension order on Indonesian pilgrims, which prevents them from traveling directly by flight to the country.

"Indonesian pilgrims are currently being inconvenienced by the suspension status from the Saudi authority, enforced to all Indonesian pilgrims from February 3 this year," Amphuri chairperson Firman M Nur stated in Jakarta on Monday.

Despite the Saudi Hajj authority announcing that it will gradually accept new Hajj and Umrah applications from foreigners, Indonesian travelers will not be able to travel directly from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia due to their suspended status, he noted.

He appealed to President Joko Widodo and the ministries to lobby the Saudi authority to rescind the suspension and allow direct flights from Indonesia to the country.

Indonesia's status as the country with the largest Muslim population and the friendship between the two countries should be considered as supporting factors while seeking the revocation of the suspension order, Nur said.

"We hope the relevant ministries could lobby the Saudi authority to rescind their suspension order on Indonesia, thus allowing Indonesian pilgrims to visit the Holy Cities," he added.

The Saudi authority has barred residents from nine countries from traveling by direct flight to Saudi Arabia -- Argentina, Brasil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Residents of the nine countries are currently required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a third country before continuing their travel to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi authorities are only admitting pilgrims who have completed their vaccination, and recognize only four vaccines -- AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson.

Pilgrims receiving other vaccines such as Sinovac or Sinopharm are only allowed entry into Saudi Arabia if they get at least one dose of the four vaccines it recognizes.

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