Saudi Arabia’s King Salman meets Eritrean President

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King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at his palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
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King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at his palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
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King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at his palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
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King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at his palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman meets Eritrean President

JEDDAH: King Salman on Monday received the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Jeddah.
King Salman and the Eritrean leader discussed issues of mutual interest and ways to strengthen bilateral ties in various fields. The two leaders also reviewed recent regional developments.
The meeting was followed by a banquet held in the honor of the visiting dignitary. The reception and banquet were attended by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Prince Faisal bin Saud bin Mohammed, Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majid bin Abdul Aziz, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Makkah Deputy Gov. Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz and other senior princes.
Later, Afwerki also met Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir. They discussed bilateral ties and regional and global developments.
Earlier this month, Eritrean President visited the UAE where he held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Shiekh Mohammed bin Zayed.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.