DOHA DEDDY Saiful Hadi, a career diplomat with over 20 years in service, will be Indonesia’s next ambassador to Qatar, said an embassy official on Thursday.
The diplomat, who is expected to arrive in Doha this month, was among the 26 new envoys sworn in by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, recently.
Hadi will be taking over the post vacated by Rozy Munir who died in February, 2010. The Indonesian embassy in the country has been operating without an ambassador for almost two years.
“The Indonesian president swore in the new ambassador to Qatar last month and all the procedures of the appointment had been completed.
We are expecting him in Doha within this month.
We are hoping that his administrative clearance will be finished in two weeks’ time,” Muhammad al Aula, third secretary at the Indonesian embassy in Doha, told the media on the sidelines of the opening of the month-long Indonesian Food Festival at the Holiday Villa, on Thursday.
The new envoy has done stints in Canada, Romania, Kuwait and the US in different capacities.
He was posted twice in Canada – in Ottawa and Vancouver – and while in the US served as head of economic section in one of the Indonesian consulates in the country.
Talking about the delay in the appointment of a new ambassador, Aula said one of the factors responsible was the new Indonesia regulations on posting its representatives abroad.
In pre-reform era in Indonesia, envoys were appointed directly by the president. But now, the selection has to be approved by the parliament.
“Without an ambassador, we have been trying our very best to make sure that service to our nationals remains at the prime level of quality.
In terms of more strategic initiative, we hope that with an ambassador we will be able to increase the quality of initiatives in intensifying our bilateral relations with Qatar,” the embassy official added.
He also underlined the excitement of the Indonesian community here in welcoming their new envoy and his family.
Aula added that number of the community members was expected to increase significantly in the coming years relative to the increase in the workforce requirement of Qatar as the country prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Currently, Indonesian nationals in Qatar number about 35,000.
“Talks are underway for more Indonesian workers to be hired for the build-up to World Cup 2022. We are receiving significant queries from companies here on hiring Indonesian nationals in the next couple of years. The figure is significant in respect of Indonesian workers in professional sectors,” Aula said.
“We have been receiving information that our professional workforce is doing very well and employers are happy working with them so we want to increase their number. Out of 35,000, about 4,000 Indonesian nationals are employed in professional fields and about 10,000 are working for construction projects,” he added.
He also said that the embassy will organise several promotional activities this year, including hosting a photographic exhibition to give Qatar residents a better perspective on the Southeast Asian nation as well as initiatives to further promote Indonesian batiks, and clothes that traditionally use manual wax-resist dyeing technique, one of the trademarks of Indonesian culture.