Mashat to Asharq Al-Awsat: Saudi Arabia Agreed with Iran to 'Respect Hajj Instructions’

Mashat to Asharq Al-Awsat: Saudi Arabia Agreed with Iran to 'Respect Hajj Instructions’

Friday, 10 August, 2018 - 06:15
Muslim pilgrims in Mecca on September 3, 2017, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB
Jeddah - Said Al-Abyad
Deputy Minister for Hajj and Umrah Abdul Fattah Mashat told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday that an agreement was reached with the Iranian Hajj delegation and all pilgrim delegations, which the ministry met prior to the current Hajj season, to respect instructions and not tackle any issues other than the pilgrimage.

“Saudi Arabia was and will continue to implement the same national, humanitarian and Islamic approach when dealing with the guests of Rahman for being an honor and an assigned trust performed by the Kingdom with full merit and strength,” the Deputy Minister said.

Mashat said the ministry tried twice to establish an electronic link that allows citizens and residents in Qatar to perform the ritual of Hajj. However, there has been no response from authorities in Doha to such initiatives.

“After Doha deleted the first link, the ministry was quick to establish another link and to allow any Qatari pilgrim traveling from around the world, to enter King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and to directly register in the system,” the Saudi official said.

Speaking about the Kingdom’s new plans in Al Mashaer, the Deputy Minister said there is a proposal to construct five-story buildings in Mina capable of hosting the biggest number of pilgrims.

Mashat added that the ministry is assuming its role in monitoring service providers, particularly that the number of pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia this year could reach around 1.8 million.

He said that thanks to its constant follow-up, the ministry was able to stop several companies from providing Hajj services after uncovering their involvement in promoting fake pilgrimage campaigns.

Mashat said the Ministry also withdrew the permits of several companies that had committed violations in last year’s Hajj season.

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