JAKARTA: Indonesia was hoping for closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the aviation sector and to develop its urban transportation, the southeast Asian country’s Ministry of Transportation has revealed.

Indonesian Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi held a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser in Riyadh on Sunday, where they explored potential cooperation between the two nations.

In a statement issued by his ministry, Sumadi said: “This is a big momentum for our two countries to continue cooperation in transportation, which has been going really well.”

Sumadi was in the Saudi capital to attend the 15th International Civil Aviation Organization’s Air Services Negotiation event, partaking in a ministerial session alongside Al-Jasser and other transport officials.

His trip follows Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s state visit to the Kingdom in October, when officials discussed the formation of a negotiation team for the Indonesia-Saudi Arabia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

“There are plenty of other collaboration opportunities we can do, especially for Hajj flights and the development of urban transportation,” Sumadi added.

The Indonesian minister had highlighted recent urban transportation developments in Saudi cities during his meeting with Al-Jasser, projects happening at a time when Indonesian cities were also developing mass transport systems.

“There’s an opportunity for (Saudi Arabia) to invest in Indonesia’s railways, which has to be further discussed,” Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Adita Irawati told Arab News on Wednesday.

“Saudi Arabia’s experience in developing urban railways can also be a benchmark for Indonesia.”

Indonesia was looking into the possibility of establishing a joint venture for domestic flights with Saudi airlines, the ministry said, as the country also hoped to increase flights between the two nations to facilitate more Indonesian pilgrims.

“On aviation, the importance of cooperation is related to Umrah and Hajj flights as there is a large volume of Indonesian pilgrims,” Irawati added.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, sends the biggest Hajj contingent and hundreds of thousands of Umrah pilgrims to Saudi Arabia every year.

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