Mecca, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry disclosed here on Monday that at least 209,934 Indonesian Hajj pilgrims and Hajj officials have arrived in Medina and Mecca, Saudi Arabia, so far.

The Hajj pilgrims and officials belong to 534 flight groupings, locally known as "kloter," the ministry added.

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said that he is grateful to find that the departures of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims have run in a relatively smooth and orderly manner.

"Alhamdulillah (Thank God), the departures of our Hajj pilgrims will soon come to an end. Despite minor hurdles related to Garuda flights, the departures of our Hajj pilgrims have run smoothly," he added.

Of the 534 flight groupings, 229 landed at Medina's Amir Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport (AMAA) while 305 others landed at Jeddah's King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAAIA).

According to Qoumas, 19 more flight groupings are scheduled to land at KAAIA as of June 11, 2024.

"Now, we are focusing on how to serve our Hajj pilgrims well," he said, adding that he and all Indonesian Hajj Management Committee (PPIH) officers are continuing to make the utmost efforts to provide the best services.

Qoumas said that his ministry is continuing to coordinate and communicate with its Saudi Arabian counterpart on the provision of Hajj services.

As reported earlier, the government of Saudi Arabia determined the first day of Dzulhijjah 1445 Hijri to be June 7. Therefore, Hajj pilgrims will perform Wukuf or gather in the open field of Arafah on the outskirts of Mecca on June 15.

On June 14, Indonesian Hajj pilgrims will gradually start leaving their accommodations in Mecca for Arafah, according to the Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry.

For this year's Hajj season, Indonesia secured a pilgrim quota of 241 thousand through an agreement reached with the Saudi government on January 8.

The total figure comprises the initial pilgrim quota of 221 thousand and an additional quota of 20 thousand approved by the King of Saudi Arabia.

The additional quota was secured by President Joko Widodo during a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabian Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud in October 2023.

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Translator: Asep F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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