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.


First group of Sundanese pilgrims arrive in Jeddah

Updated 18 July 2019
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First group of Sundanese pilgrims arrive in Jeddah

  • Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6 and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season
  • The president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and other dock officials greeted 1,633 pilgrims as they disembarked at Jeddah Islamic Port following their voyage from Sawakin, Sudan

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the first group of Sudanese Hajj pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom by sea.
The president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI), Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, and other dock officials greeted 1,633 pilgrims as they disembarked at Jeddah Islamic Port following their voyage from Sawakin in Sudan.
Al-Khalb said the operational plan prepared for this year’s Hajj aimed to receive 22,000 pilgrims through Jeddah Islamic Port, a 37 percent increase on 2018. He added that 22 trips using four ferries were planned, representing a 29 percent rise in the number of sea journeys on the previous year.
The authority, in cooperation with different government sectors and agencies, aims to ensure Hajj pilgrims’ comfort during their stay in the Kingdom.
Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6 and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season. These workers will include maritime pilots, ship captains, technical and operational supervisors, security teams, staff responsible for operations at the station, and technical affairs managers.