Hajj minister hails royal decree on Saudi visas

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in Makkah Sept. 22, 2015. (Reuters)
Updated 11 September 2019
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Hajj minister hails royal decree on Saudi visas

  • The decree canceled repeat Umrah fees
  • The royal decree aims to facilitate the arrival of Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah

JEDDAH: The Saudi minister for Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammad Salih Bentin, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for issuing a royal decree canceling repeat Umrah fees.

Bentin said: “The royal decree is part of the leadership’s keenness to facilitate the arrival of Muslims from all over the world to perform Hajj and Umrah.”

He added that the decree reflects the Kingdom’s readiness to receive the increasing number of pilgrims due to huge infrastructure projects and the development of services in Makkah, Madinah and the holy places.

Bentin said the decree supports efforts to achieve one of the most important objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plan, which is to receive 30 million Umrah pilgrims by that year, and to provide them with great services so they can perform their rituals in comfort and tranquility.


Condemnation of attacks on Saudi Aramco oil plants continue

Updated 17 September 2019
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Condemnation of attacks on Saudi Aramco oil plants continue

  • Bahraini King calls Saudi leadership

RIYADH: Condemnations of Saturday’s attack on Saudi Aramco oil installations continued on Monday, as the US pointed out Iran as the likely culprit behind the drone strikes that have dramatically escalated tensions in the region and triggered a record leap in global oil prices.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both received calls from the King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to condemn the attacks at Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the crown prince, who is also the defense minister, to affirm his country's full support for the Kingdom.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “We will work with international partners to forge the widest and most effective response,” with a statement from his ministry saying the “UK remains committed to supporting the security of Saudi Arabia.”

India also slammed the attacks and reiterated the country’s “rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Official Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the Secretary General condemns Saturday's attacks on two Aramco oil plants.

The German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, “Such an attack on civilian and vital infrastructure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not justified”.

— with SPA