Retno Marsudi Laments Saudi Arabia Decision on Umrah Suspension



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaForeign Minister Retno Marsudi questioned Saudi Arabia’s reasons for temporarily stopping the entry of Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia. Retno said the policy was not relevant for Indonesia which is still categorized as a green zone or safe from the coronavirus or COVID-19.

    “Indonesia is not [infected by the COVID-19] yet. So the reasons [to suspend Umrah entry] because of the confirmed COVID-19 cases and others are not relevant for Indonesia. The Indonesian ambassador will contact Saudi authorities upon this issue,” Retno said at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta on Thursday, February 27.

    The government was also preparing to manage the impact of this policy. “We will hold a meeting with the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Transportation Minister, Religious Affairs Minister, and state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura to discuss the impact,” Retno added.

    Since this morning, the Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah has deployed its staffers to the airport to anticipate many pilgrims who are queuing due to Saudi Arabia’s prompt policy.

    “We also call on the management of Umrah travel agents to actively inform their clients,” said the Religious Affairs Ministry’s special staffer Ubaidilah Amin through a written statement on Thursday, February 27.