‘Kingdom to work with Indonesia to combat Daesh’

‘Kingdom to work with Indonesia to combat Daesh’

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Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Osama Mohammad Abdullah Alshuaibi gestures during an interview in Jakarta on Tuesday. — Reuters
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Osama Mohammad Abdullah Alshuaibi gestures during an interview in Jakarta on Tuesday. — Reuters

JAKARTA — A pact to combat terrorism will be the centerpiece of up to 10 agreements that will be signed when Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman visits Indonesia on Wednesday.

Billed as a “mega trip”, it would be King Salman’s first visit to Indonesia in nearly five decades.

Apart from a side-trip of several hours to Brunei, King Salman will be in Indonesia until March 12, Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Osama Mohammad Abdullah Alshuaibi told Reuters in an interview. “We know Indonesia has suffered from bombing and terrorism here,” he said.
“We will cooperate with the Indonesians in this field. We can exchange data, we can exchange experience, and we can defeat these people.”

Alshuaibi said Saudi and Indonesian military officers are training to counter Daesh.

Saudi Arabia is aiming to open more Islamic schools in Indonesia, which will teach religion using the Arabic language, and step up the number of scholarships for students, the envoy said.

The ambassador said the visit could also lay the foundation for developing oil and gas projects and promoting tourism.

Saudi Aramco, which has an existing agreement with Indonesian state energy firm Pertamina for a $5 billion refinery upgrade in Central Java, may take on more projects offered by Pertamina later this year, he said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is hoping the King’s visit will bring investment commitments worth up to $25 billion, Indonesian officials have previously said.

During his trip to Indonesia, King Salman will be accompanied by ministers, princes and service staff, Alshuaibi said.

The King will visit Jakarta, the state palace in Bogor, a city south of the capital, and spend the last leg of his Indonesian trip in Bali, Alshuaibi said.

Indonesia will assign at least 9,000 security personnel to protect the King’s entourage, he added. — Reuters

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