The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo kicked off his state visit to the countries of the Middle East on Saturday by receiving a courtesy visit from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) president Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani and Islamic Cooperation Organization (OKI) secretary-general Iyad Madani.
Jokowi later continued his day by visiting the Al-Salam Diwan Malaki Palace to attend a bilateral meeting with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
According to a report by kompas.com, the President received the King Abdul Aziz Medal from the King himself after the meeting was over, which is a tradition honoring every king or president of a friendly country who visits the kingdom.
In the evening, Jokowi is set to attend another meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with Saudi and Indonesian businesspeople and to receive courtesy visits from several Saudi ministers, including the ministers of finance, foreign affairs and economics.
The President and his entourage landed in Jeddah on Friday at 6 p.m.
Joining Jokowi on the trip is Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Trade Minister Thomas Trikasih Lembong, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) Sofyan Djalil and former foreign minister and well-known Muslim scholar Alwi Shihab.
Jokowi stated on Friday that the trip aimed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, with a focus on the economy, energy sustainability, protection for Indonesian citizens and strategic industries.
He also said that Saudi Arabia was Indonesia's largest trade partner in the Middle East. The value of trade between the two countries reached US$8.6 billion in 2014, with the Saudi investment value in Indonesia reaching $29.3 million in the first half of 2015. (kes)(++++)
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