Riyadh seeks Beijing’s help to end Syria crisis

Updated 15 March 2014
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Riyadh seeks Beijing’s help to end Syria crisis

Saudi Arabia on Thursday called on China to assist in finding a speedy and peaceful solution to the three-year Syrian crisis based on the Geneva 1 resolutions, and help end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories to pave the way for an independent Palestinian state.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, made the call during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which explored prospects of expanding bilateral cooperation. Xi vowed to strengthen strategic partnerships between the two countries.
In his keynote speech, at a reception hosted by the Chinese president at the Great Hall of the People, Prince Salman said his visit was to expand relations between two of Asia's economic giants.
“We would like to strengthen bilateral relations in political, economic, commercial, industrial and cultural fields as well as in the energy and investment sectors to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development for our nations and serve global peace and security,” the crown prince said.
Prince Salman said the Kingdom was looking forward to China using its political and economic influence to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and establish an independent Palestinian state based on UN Security Council resolutions and Arab peace initiatives. Prince Salman said King Abdullah’s interfaith dialogue initiative was helping to achieve these peace objectives. He praised China’s positive stance on the Palestinian issue.


Pilgrimage planning for Hajj season unveiled

Updated 22 min 41 sec ago
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Pilgrimage planning for Hajj season unveiled

  • Chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais said the presidency was keen to prepare early for the season this year
  • Al-Sudais said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes pilgrims from all countries of the world and from different sects

JEDDAH: The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques started implementing its plan for the pilgrimage season this year, which lasts for two months from the beginning of the current Dhul Qadah month until the end of Dhu Al-Hijjah.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said the presidency was keen to prepare early for the season this year.

Al-Sudais said that the presidential plan seeks to achieve a number of goals, including helping pilgrims perform their rituals with ease and tranquility and preparing all facilities.

He highlighted the availability of important services, including seminars by a number of high-ranking scholars and teachers, distribution of the Holy Qur’an and religious pamphlets, translation of Friday sermons into 10 languages and arranging visits to the Prophet’s Mosque.

A total of 210 doors in the Grand Mosque and 100 doors in the Prophet’s Mosques have been prepared as well as 28 escalators in the Grand Mosque and four escalators in Prophet’s Mosque. There are 38 doors for people with special needs and seven for women. There are seven bridges and a special entrance for funerals. There are also 25,000 Zamzam water containers in the Grand Mosque and 23,000 in the Prophet’s Mosque.

It also translates speeches into sign language for the deaf and provides services for those with special needs, such as golf carts to transport elderly pilgrims, and regulating the entry and exit of worshipers.

He said that the number of people circulating Kaaba in all the floors of the Grand Mosque has reached 107,000 an hour.

Air conditioning has been installed in the basement and ground floor and many other areas have finished. Thousands of fans have been installed in the Two Holy Mosques and their yards.

The area around the Two Holy Mosques has been equipped with more than 8,441 toilets, as well as more than 6,000 ablution units.

A number of different TV and radio programs and films have been made highlighting the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in the service of the two Holy Mosques and the holy sites and services provided to the guests of the House of God.

Al-Sudais said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes pilgrims from all countries of the world and from different sects. He stressed that the Kingdom is keen to provide the best services for all pilgrims in order to help them perform their rituals in comfort, ease and security.