JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesia's House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees security and foreign affairs, is planning to visit Qatar from February 28 to March 6 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The working visit was part of their duties to supervise the implementation of the government policies and the state budget. The plan was revealed after a document signed by House Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin was circulated.
The plan of the working visit has also been confirmed by House Secretary General Indra Iskandar. However, Indra said, they are still waiting for permission from the Qatari government.
"The letter is still being studied due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Qatari government has issued some regulations. Their embassy does not issue a visa but the Qatari government will directly issue an Exceptional Entry Permit (EEP)," Indra said on Monday, February 22.
The letter was addressed to the Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar. However, no reply has yet to be made.
The visit, among others, aims to have a closer look at the protection and services provided for the Indonesian citizens living in Qatar and hold meetings with the Qatari counterparts.
It was previously reported that the Indonesian delegates flew to Ukraine to meet the Ukrainian parliament in November 2020 when Indonesia was greatly affected by the coronavirus. At the time, the visit has drawn criticism as they are expected to focus on handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Indonesian Parliament Watch (Formappi) researcher Lucius Karius said that there is no urgency for the house members to conduct working visits amid the pandemic.
"I don't see any reason that justifies working visit with questionable urgency carried out during a crisis. How could officials think and act as if we are living in normal conditions?" said Lucius on Monday, February 22.
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