Saudi crown prince meets French PM in Paris

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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
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Saudi's crown prince meets France PM. (SPA)
Updated 09 April 2018

Saudi crown prince meets French PM in Paris

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met with France’s Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe in Paris on Monday, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
Prince Mohammed dined with President Emmanuel Macron at Paris's historic Louvre museum on Sunday night after flying in on his first trip to France as the heir to the Saudi throne.
The Kingdom revealed during the Crown Prince's visit that it would enter short films at the Cannes cinema festival for the first time and send an official delegation to the celebration of on the Riviera this May.


Saudi Hajj Ministry announces insurance for pilgrims

Updated 14 min 11 sec ago

Saudi Hajj Ministry announces insurance for pilgrims

  • Announcement comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan
  • Insurance will cover emergency cases, accidents and repatriation of the remains of pilgrims who die in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has announced insurance for pilgrims coming from outside the kingdom, as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, according to state media.

Hajj and Umrah Minister, Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten signed an agreement with Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid at the Hajj and Umrah Ministry’s headquarters in Makkah on Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the ministry will provide health and other insurance services to pilgrims from the time they arrive in the Kingdom until they leave.

The insurance scheme comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to enhance pilgrims’ experiences, said Minister Benten.

Tawuniya was tapped by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry in consultation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Health Insurance Council, he added.

The insurance will be linked to the visa as soon as the pilgrim arrives in Saudi Arabia, he said. There will be a hotline, and pilgrims will be served by teams who speak multiple languages.

Ayman Al-Arfaj, general supervisor of the ministry’s media center, said the insurance will cost SR189 per person, which will be paid to the insurance company and will cover 30 days, the total stay of a pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.

He said that insurance will be unified for all pilgrims and will cover emergency cases, accidents and repatriation of the remains of pilgrims who die in Saudi Arabia. A pilgrim automatically gets insurance once the visa is issued.

Pilgrims in need of health assistance can avail themselves of the insurance benefit by presenting their passports at any hospital or clinic under the Saudi Ministry of Health or any private hospital and clinic accredited by the Health Insurance Council, Al-Arfaj said.

Abdulaziz bin Hadsan Al-Bouq, CEO of Tawuniya, which has been awarded the contract for four years, said the Kingdom is developing innovative methods to provide health services and reduce accidents at holy sites.

This project, he added, is supported by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and each insurance covers an amount of SR100,000 ($26,665) per person.

Al-Arfaj noted that since the start of the Umrah season in October, a total of 1,518,649 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom.