Russian institute to confer honorary doctorate on King Salman today

King Salman
Updated 07 October 2017
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Russian institute to confer honorary doctorate on King Salman today

MOSCOW: King Salman will be granted an honorary doctorate on Saturday by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which is operated by Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
“MGIMO is proud to welcome the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during his truly historic visit to Russia, and we are proud to include His Majesty among MGIMO’s honorary degree-holders,” the institute’s Rector Anatoly Torkunov told Arab News.
Its honorary doctorates acknowledge recipients’ roles in strengthening relations between their country and Russia, and their contribution to global stability and prosperity.
Previous recipients include Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordan’s King Abdallah, former French President Jacques Chirac, former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali, and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In 2016, MGIMO signed a cooperation agreement with the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies at the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
MGIMO, founded in 1944, prepares diplomats for the Foreign Ministry. “Despite its proximity to political elites, MGIMO has always maintained the spirit of intellectual freedom, encouraging independent thinking in its students,” its website says.
The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged MGIMO for the number of languages it teaches — 53.


Hajj halls at airport will ease pilgrims’ path, says transport minister

Indian pilgrims arrive at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on August 14, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecakkah. (AFP / Amer Hilabi)
Updated 16 August 2018
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Hajj halls at airport will ease pilgrims’ path, says transport minister

  • Saudi transport minister unveils plan to simplify pilgrims’ travel procedures and provide them with optimum services
  • Streamlining of procedures is expected to reduce pilgrims’ waiting time from three hours last year to about 45 minutes this year

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s transport minister, Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi, visited the Hajj halls at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Wednesday to ensure that work progress, performance efficiency and the pilgrims’ reception process are in line with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) operational plan.

The plan aims to simplify pilgrims’ travel procedures and provide them with optimum services.

During his visit, the minister also checked preparations for receiving Hajj delegations while ensuring the provision of high-standard services. The application of technology systems and electronic programs will also help simplify procedures.

Al-Amoudi praised the Makkah Road initiative, which has been implemented in phases by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in collaboration with other government bodies, to make Hajj procedures easier for pilgrims arriving from Malaysia and Indonesia.

The initiative includes issuing visas, carrying out passport and customs procedures in the two countries, verifying health requirements, sorting luggage and providing bus transport to hotels in Makkah or Madinah.

The initiative also ensures the readiness of GACA by scheduling upcoming flights arriving at the airport, which simplifies entry procedures.

Streamlining of procedures is expected to reduce pilgrims’ waiting time from three hours last year to about 45 minutes this year. Al-Amoudi said that the improvements are the result of the directives and support provided by the Saudi government to all air, sea and land ports.

“The Saudi government is keen to make every effort to simplify procedures for pilgrims and enable them to perform the Hajj and Umrah rites easily and safely through the cooperation and integration of all government and private sectors,” he said.

Pilgrims receive the utmost care from the time they arrive in Saudi Arabia until they return to their home countries, he added.

The minister thanked staff working in Hajj halls for their work and praised the integration of efforts between government bodies, especially employees of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health.

He also commended the readiness of GACA’s team, highlighting their excellence in providing transport services based on the guidance of the Saudi leadership for serving pilgrims.