RIYADH: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid has lauded the Kingdom for its successful and safe organization of the curtailed Hajj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season and expressed his appreciation for the country’s generosity.
“On behalf of the US Mission to Saudi Arabia, I extend our best wishes to all Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha,” Abizaid said in a statement.
He thanked the Saudi leadership for the care and services provided to the specially selected group of around 1,000 pilgrims of various nationalities allowed to perform Hajj.
“I would also like to express our deep appreciation to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten, and Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh for the government’s actions to protect the health of those participating in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
“I also extend our gratitude to the people of Saudi Arabia for their kind hospitality, friendship, and generosity during Eid and throughout the eight decades of our two countries’ close partnership. May the prayers for peace of all people around the world be heard,” he added.
Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) also commended Saudi Arabia for its efforts in organizing Hajj.
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims and said the preventive measures had set an example for other countries to follow in working toward lifting COVID-19 restrictions.