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January 9, 2023, 05.41 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Indonesian government has received a quota of 221,000 for this year’s Hajj pilgrims without any set age limitation.

During the 2022 Hajj, Indonesia received 100,051 of quota for hajj pilgrims, or half the number in 2019 and selected pilgrims were below 65 years old due to restrictions imposed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and Hajj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia Tawfiq Al-Rabiah inked an agreement on Indonesia's 2023 Hajj quota in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Jan. 8.

"Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), the mission of the 2023 Hajj has started. Today, the Hajj minister of Saudi Arabia and I signed an agreement on Hajj. Indonesia gets 221,000 of the hajj quota," Yaqut said in a press statement issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Also read: Indonesia to Seek Increase in 2023 Hajj Quota to 100 percent

He explained that the quota comprised 203,320 for regular Hajj pilgrims and 17,680 for special Hajj pilgrims.

"Meanwhile, for officers, this year, we received a quota of 4,200 (people)," he added.

Yaqut stated that at the meeting with Minister Al-Rabiah, it was agreed that there would be no age limit for Hajj pilgrims this year.

The age limit of a maximum of 65 years, set by the government of Saudi Arabia during last year's Hajj pilgrimage to curb Covid-19 transmission, is no longer implemented.

"It means pilgrims aged over 65 years could perform the Hajj (pilgrimage) this year," he added.

The agreement between the government of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also includes arrangements for the planes carrying pilgrims in Jeddah and Medina and the new policies regarding Hajj services.

Also read: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Agree to Form Task Force for 2023 Hajj

At the meeting, Minister Yaqut also called for an increase in the quota of Hajj pilgrims for Indonesia to shorten the waiting time for pilgrimage in Indonesia.

The minister lauded the transformation by the government of Saudi Arabia in the implementation of Hajj services.

Hajj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia Tawfiq Al-Rabiah stated that his country prioritizes the safety and comfort of pilgrims in carrying out Hajj services.

"Comfort and safety are priorities. However, I say Indonesia will always get priority in receiving additional quotas," he said.

He also noted that the transformation of Hajj services in Saudi Arabia is still ongoing until now.

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