Saudi Arabia Announces Success of Hajj Pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia Announces Success of Hajj Pilgrimage

Friday, 24 August, 2018 - 07:00
Governor of Makkah Prince Khalid al-Faisal holds a press conference to announce the success of the Hajj pilgrimage. (SPA)
Holy sites, Medina – Ibrahim al-Qarshi, Mohammed al-Ayedh, Saeed al-Abyadh and Ahmed al-Nahari
Governor of Makkah Prince Khalid al-Faisal announced on Thursday the success of this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage, saying that it took place without incident or diseases.

He expressed during a press conference marking the end of the Hajj Saudi Arabia’s welcoming of all pilgrims, saying it was honored to service them.

He lamented, however, Qatar’s decision to bar its people from traveling to perform the Hajj, despite the Kingdom’s readiness to receive them.

He refuted media allegations that Saudi Arabia had prevented the Qataris from traveling.

“Such claims do not affect us. The Kingdom had repeatedly said that it was prepared to receive pilgrims from any country in the world,” Prince Khalid stressed.

“Qatar was invited to allow its citizens to perform the Hajj and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques played a hand in this effort. He stressed that if Qatar permitted the pilgrims from traveling, then he would dispatch planes to transport them,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, Qatar prevented the pilgrims from traveling,” he added.

As for Iran, he said that 86,000 Iranians had performed this year’s rituals.

Prince Khalid hailed Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, the Minister of Interior and all concerned sides for their efforts that ensured the success of the Hajj.

He highlighted moderate Islam, saying it stems from its teachings.

“The leader of moderation in this country is King Salman and he had announced this on more than one occasion and delivered this message to the Kingdom and the world,” he stated.

On setting a limit to the number of pilgrims, he explained that this effort is coordinated by all Islamic countries, not the Kingdom alone.

Moreover, he said that more than 250,000 civilians and military personnel were deployed at the holy sites to ensure the smooth staging of the Hajj.

On the Kingdom’s future plans for the pilgrimage, he said that it seeks to employ technology and develop the holy sites.

Commenting on Saudi Vision 2030’s goal to host 30 million Umrah pilgrims and 5 million Hajj pilgrims in the future, Prince Khalid explained: “This plan will be implemented over phases and they will be announced as soon as possible.”

A plan has already been drafted to develop the Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat sites. A preliminary study of the plan has been referred to the concerned Makkah and holy site authorities, he revealed.

He stressed that as soon as the Hajj season ends, preparations get underway for the next one.

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