RELIGION

Crowds greet Saudi king on rare visit to Indonesia

  • Saudi King Salman, left, listens to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the MOU signing ceremony in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Salman arrived in Malaysia on Sunday to kick off a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

    Saudi King Salman, left, listens to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the MOU signing ceremony in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Salman arrived in Malaysia on Sunday to kick off a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)  (The Associated Press)

  • Saudi King Salman, right, walks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Salman arrived in the world's largest Muslim nation on Wednesday as part of a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

    Saudi King Salman, right, walks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Salman arrived in the world's largest Muslim nation on Wednesday as part of a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Saudi King Salman, center, adjusts his headscarf as he steps down the stairs of his plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Salman arrived in the world's largest Muslim nation on Wednesday as a part of a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

    Saudi King Salman, center, adjusts his headscarf as he steps down the stairs of his plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Salman arrived in the world's largest Muslim nation on Wednesday as a part of a multi-nation tour aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)  (The Associated Press)

The first Saudi monarch to visit Indonesia in nearly half a century has arrived to an elaborate official welcome and crowds of thousands.

King Salman exited his plane at Halim airport in Jakarta on Wednesday using an escalator, with a portable lift carrying him the final meter or so to the ground.

He was met by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and whisked off in a heavily secured convoy to a presidential palace in Bogor, outside of Jakarta, where tens of thousands of people lined the route.

Salman is on a tour of Asian countries to drum up business and improve ties.

The government of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has said Salman's entourage and related delegations number about 1,500 people.