Indonesia to get more Haj quotas

June 29, 2013
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JAKARTA, Indonesia – Government officials announced Thursday (June 27th) that they had succeeded in lobbying Saudi Arabia to let them send more pilgrims to Mecca in the coming years, local media reported.

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    Quotas of pilgrims from each country were restricted across the board for this year's Haj due to extensive renovations and construction that will significantly increase capacity at the holy site in the future.

    A delegation from Indonesia spent a week in Saudi Arabia working to find a solution for would-be pilgrims already on waiting lists, The Jakarta Post reported. Religious Affairs Ministry spokesman Zubaidi said the Saudi Hajj Affairs Ministry agreed to raise the quota of Indonesian Haj pilgrims in the next two or three years.

    "They warmly welcomed our proposal to add to the quota of our Haj pilgrims to accommodate the backlog of would-be pilgrim," he said. quoted the Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission VIII, Raditiyo Gambiro Gondo, as saying, "This I think is successful lobbying because Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase the quota up to 200% after the renovation is done."

    He added that some of the monetary losses resulting from the current quota cuts will be reimbursed or applied to future pilgrimages.

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