Saudi Haj minister inspects institutions in preparation for Haj 2017

Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Salih bin Taher Bentin starts inspection and field visits in preparation for the coming Haj season. (SPA)
Updated 16 July 2017

Saudi Haj minister inspects institutions in preparation for Haj 2017

MADINAH: Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Bentin has started inspection and field visits, as well as preparatory meetings with the board of directors for Tawafa owners in preparation for the coming Haj season.
Bentin started by visiting the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Arab Countries and the General Syndicate of Cars in Um Al-Joud in Makkah to ensure their readiness and follow up on early preparations for the Haj season this year.
He explored strategies to develop services offered to pilgrims, including reception, grouping, transportation, accommodation, food and awareness.
The number of Arab pilgrims is expected to reach 280,000 from 19 Arab countries, who will be received by 121 field offices with more than 1,500 employees.
The minister then visited the headquarters of the General Syndicate of Cars and met with Abdulrahman bin Mayouf Al-Harbi, the syndicate’s general president.
Bentin viewed its operational plans and preparations for the Haj season. The syndicate and its affiliated companies have a fleet of more than 16,000 vehicles that are provided by 27 companies.
The minister also discussed mechanisms to develop the process of transporting pilgrims.
He was accompanied by Hussein bin Naser Al-Sharef, undersecretary for Haj affairs, Mohammed bin Hamid Al-Klaibi, acting undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Mohammed Ahmad Oqada, acting director general for the ministry’s branch in Makkah, and leading personalities from the ministry.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.