Saudi-Iraqi border sees heavy flow of pilgrims headed for Hajj

A member of the Saudi border guards patrols the fence on Saudi Arabia's northern border with Iraq, near Arar City, in this February 23, 2015 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 18 August 2017
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Saudi-Iraqi border sees heavy flow of pilgrims headed for Hajj

ARAR: The Arar crossing on the Saudi-Iraqi border is seeing a heavy flow of Iraqi pilgrims heading to the Kingdom to perform Hajj.
It has also been attracting diplomats. Saudi minister of state for Gulf affairs, Thamer Al-Sabhan, and Brett McGurk, US special envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition, on Wednesday inspected the crossing.
This came two days after a similar visit by Saudi Ambassador in Baghdad Abdul Aziz Al-Shemary, and his Iraqi counterpart Rashid Al-Any.
The vice president of the Anbar provincial council, Faleh Al-Issawi, said he had received Al-Sabhan and McGurk at the crossing.
Sabhan tweeted a picture of himself with McGurk and Al-Issawi during his visit, with the caption “from the Iraq of fraternity and brotherhood.”
Al-Issawi said the visit was intended to “inspect the crossing, its working mechanism and the mechanism of receiving Hajj pilgrims, in addition to its readiness for trade between Riyadh and Baghdad.”
The deputy governor of Anbar, Mustafa Al-Ersan, said the visit is “a positive step,” and the crossing will be open after the Hajj season for bilateral trade.
Saad Al-Hadithi, spokesman of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, said: “There is an agreement with Saudi Arabia on reopening the crossing for trade and visits between the two countries.”
The decision was made during Al-Abadi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Al-Hadithi said, adding that Riyadh and Baghdad are also preparing to reopen the Jamima crossing.


Operation to transport pilgrim to Mina successful: Hajj ministry

Updated 42 min 31 sec ago
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Operation to transport pilgrim to Mina successful: Hajj ministry

  • Over 1.89 million Hajjis, arrived in the holy city of Makkah, according to Saudi authorities
  • Most pilgrims will leave the tented city in the morning on Monday

MAKKAH: The operation to transport pilgrims from the holy city of Makkah to Mina went successfully, the Hajj ministry said.

Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, who was coordinating officials at the ministry with the preparation work for the coming days, hoped the rest of the Hajj operations would go smoothly. 

“Transporting pilgrims was done in a very smooth and simple manner,” Mashat told Arab News, “17,000 busses were used to transport pilgrims from Makkah,” he added.

The deputy minister talked of the logistics of getting the pilgrim’s to their tents and the facilities provided to them.

Most pilgrims will leave the tented city in the morning on Monday for an emotional day on and around Jabal Rahma, on Arafat’s great plain.

The ministry has also urged the pilgrims to follow the scheduled provided to them to avoid the dangers caused by overcrowding. 

Over 1.89 million Hajjis, both foreign and domestic, arrived in the holy city of Makkah, according to Saudi authorities.