Diplomatic row: Sweden says sorry

Updated 30 March 2015
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Diplomatic row: Sweden says sorry

Sweden has apologized for the recent offensive remarks by its foreign minister against the laws of Saudi Arabia and hoped for better relations between the two countries.
Hailing the role of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in protecting Islam and its holy places, Sweden said it is looking forward to welcoming back the Saudi ambassador to Stockholm.
The kingdom had recalled its ambassador soon after the uncalled for remarks by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom.
In a message to King Salman, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven expressed “deep sorrow and regret over the current crisis in the relations between the two countries” while stressing his government’s keenness to maintain healthy relations between the two countries.
Lofven also said the role of King Salman in protecting Islam and its holy places is clear and that his government was concerned over the deterioration of the relations between the two countries following the controversial comment by his cabinet minister.


Child nurseries a first for Hajj

Updated 43 min 7 sec ago
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Child nurseries a first for Hajj

  • Worshippers with children can register for the service during their completion of the Hajj permit application via the ministry’s electronic services
  • Children are received during Hajj season starting from the seventh of the month of Dhu Al-Hijja until the 13th

JEDDAH: Children’s nurseries will be available to Hajj pilgrims for the first time following the launch of a nursery service inside Makkah and Madinah.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in cooperation with the Ministry of Education launched the nursery service to provide a safe and educational environment for children under the supervision of qualified staff. 

Nurseries will also offer shelter from large crowds and limit children’s exposure to illness or potential accidents in the holy sites. Pilgrims can perform their rituals in peace, knowing their children are in good hands, a ministry spokesman said.

Worshippers with children can register for the service during their completion of the Hajj permit application via the ministry’s electronic services. 

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and Tatweer Co. for Educational Services are also involved in the initiative. 

Children are received during Hajj season starting from the seventh of the month of Dhu Al-Hijja until the 13th. They are divided according to their age groups.

Five languages are available to teach children: Arabic, English, French, Malay and Turkish. 

The Ministry of Education has completed preparation stages of its health and educational program to host children from the age of one month to six years in seasonal kindergartens.

The opening of nurseries and kindergartens is subject to licensing by the ministry representing the Agency of Private Education.

The education ministry’s security system will ensure children’s safety. A documentation process on entry and exit of the child is done through fingerprints, which confirms the identity of the child as well as their parents. The system works in cooperation with security authorities.

Security measures also include prohibiting non-authorized persons from entering the facility, with security cameras fitted for this purpose.