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INTERNATIONAL

OVER 171,000 PILGRIMS ENJOY MAKKAH ROUTE FACILITY

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Pilgrims also do not need to claim their baggage as they have been taken care of by staff members who transport them directly to the hotels.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jeddah – Some 171,648 pilgrims have enjoyed the Makkah Route facility provided by the government of the Kingdom, the Saudi’s Director General of Passports, Major General Sulaiman Al Yahya, has stated.

“The Makkah Route was first launched by Saudi Arabia in the 2017 Hajj season with the aim of facilitating the journey of international pilgrims,” ​​Al Yahya explained at a press conference here, Wednesday (7/8/2019).

This facility was initially provided for Malaysian pilgrims, then expanded to those in other countries. This year the Makkah Route has been implemented at the airports of Jakarta (Indonesia), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Islamabad (Pakistan) and Tunis (Tunisia).

The fast-track program covers visa services, customs and passports checking, health inspection, and baggage claim in accordance with the transportation and lodging arrangements made by the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

With the Makkah Route, all those procedures are settled in the country before pilgrims leave for Saudi. Upon their arrival in the Holy Land, they can go directly to hotels in Mecca and Madinah without having to go through the inspection at the airport which could take hours.

Pilgrims also do not need to claim their baggage as they have been taken care of by staff members who transport them directly to the hotels.

Improving services to the hajj pilgrims, which is aimed at facilitating their stay in Mecca and Madinah for performing hajj, is part of the 2030 Vision of the kingdom under the direct supervision of the Minister of the Interior who chairs the Highest Hajj Committee.

As of August 7, the Saudi government has welcomed more than 1.7 million pilgrims who will begin the hajj rituals this weekend, starting Friday, August 9 to Wednesday, August 14.

Some 1,725,455 pilgrims from abroad arrived in Saudi by air, 95,634 pilgrims came by land, and 17,250 people arrived through Saudi seaports, according to official calculation.

Of the number of international pilgrims this year, 969,726 or more than 53 percent are men and 868,613, or more than 47 percent are women, Al Yahya noted. (bmp)

INTERNATIONAL

JAPAN FULLY SUPPORTS PRESIDENT JOKOWI’S PRIORITY PROGRAMS

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President Jokowi on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok on Monday (4/11/2019).

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to fully support the priority programs of President Joko: Widodo (Jokowi) during his second term of office.

Abe was responding to the Indonesian government’s development programs unveiled during a bilateral meeting with President Jokowi on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok on Monday (4/11/2019).

At the meeting, President Jokowi unveiled the priority programs of his government in the next five years, including the development of quality human resources, the continuation of infrastructure development, and the simplification of government regulations and bureaucracy reform, Chief of the Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat Erlin Suastini said in a press statement.

“At this meeting, I would like to focus on two issues, namely cooperation in the development of infrastructures and the development of quality human resources,” Jokowi said.

Prime Minister Abe warmly welcomed the priority programs.

“Of course, Japan wants to cooperate in the fields which are the main priority, particularly infrastructure and human resource development ,” he said.

President Jokowi said the two countries have been engaged in many areas of cooperation in the infrastructure sector, including the construction of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, Jakarta-Surabaya semi-high-speed train and Patimban Port in West Java.

“Looking ahead, I also want to encourage the use of more local contents and the transfer of technology in our infrastructure development,” he said.

The development of infrastructure has been able to connect economic centers to one another in the outskirt areas of the country, he said.

To realize the cooperation in human resource development, Jokowi invited Japan to enhance its cooperation with Indonesia in the fields of vocation and internship. (ant)

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INTERNATIONAL

PRESIDENT JOKOWI, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR DISCUSS GLOBAL ECONOMY

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President Joko Widodo held a bilateral meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok on Sunday (3/11/2019).

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva discussed global economy when they met in Bangkok for the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Sunday (3/11/2019).

Before they began the discussion held at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center, President Jokowi congratulated Georgieva on her new role as IMF managing director since October 2019, Chief of the Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat Erlin Suastini said in a written statement released on Sunday (3/11/2019).

Georgieva is the first IMF managing director from an emerging economy, Bulgaria, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said at .Hotel Grand Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok, on Sunday (3/11/2019).

At the meeting both sides exchanged ideas about the global and regional economic conditions, Retno said.

Georgieva said the global economy currently slowed down and even grew at the lowest pace in the past decade. However, the economic condition of ASEAN member countries including Indonesia is far better than those of the rest of the world.

“She said the ASEAN economy is still on the ‘bright spot in the world economy’. The bright spot is in ASEAN,” Retno said.

President Jokowi further unveiled the focus of Indonesian development including human resources development, infrastructure development and institutional reform in the next five years.

During the meeting, President Jokowi was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung. (ant)

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DESTINATION

INDONESIA FESTIVAL PROMOTES LOMBOK, SUMBAWA TOURISM IN PERTH

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NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Mataram – The 2019 Indonesia Festival held in Perth, Australia, on Oct 25-27 promoted West Nusa Tenggara’s islands of Lombok and Sumbawa tourism destinations.

The three-day festival was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Australia, at Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Anita Achmad, chairperson of the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Tourism Promotion Office, said here on Sunday (27/10/2019).

The event was jointly organized by the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI), the Tourism Ministry and the NTB provincial administration.

“Australia is a promising market for the tourism industry of Lombok and Sumbawa Islands. A direct flight from Australia to Lombok is available and Indonesia is the second home for Australian tourists,” Anita Achmad said in a statement.

NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok.

Lalu Moh Faozal, head of the NTB Tourism Office said the existing Perth-Lombok direct flight is crucial for the tourism industry in the province.

“Next, we will encourage opening of other direct flight routes to Australia to help achieve our target of attracting 4.5 million tourists in 2020,” he said.

NTB will intensify tourism promotion activities to lure more Australians who usually travel overseas at least once or twice a year.

The Lombok-Perth direct flight has helped increased the number of Australian tourists to NTB.

Mandalika in NTB is one of Indonesia’s tourism development priorities and is expected to become a world class destination.

In addition to Mandalika, other Indonesia’s 10 priority tourist destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Wakatobi national marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Morotai Island in North Maluku. Comprising Lombok and Sumbawa Islands, as well as hundreds of smaller ones, NTB Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas, and a distinct culture.

NTB is located not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali. (yun)

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