New Saudi envoy urges Arab consuls to fulfill ‘great mission’

Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari
Updated 29 November 2018
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New Saudi envoy urges Arab consuls to fulfill ‘great mission’

  • Bukhari said: “We seek to create ambitious global partnerships and build strong international relations that are based on solid fundamentals

BEIRUT: Saudi diplomat Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari returned to Beirut on Wednesday following his official appointment as the Kingdom’s ambassador to Lebanon.

Bukhari had served as the charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon since March 12 after Saudi authorities recalled the former ambassador, Walid Al-Yaacoub, to take on other duties. Before that, Bukhari served as minister plenipotentiary at the embassy.

Speaking at the Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, Bukhari thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for showing their trust in him as the Kingdom’s ambassador.

“I hope to be at the discretion of our great leadership and to work under its guidance to strengthen joint cooperation between the Kingdom and Lebanon,” he said.

“I also hope that we all seek to maintain the security, stability and sovereignty of Lebanon.” 

Bukhari was welcomed at the airport by the ambassadors of Egypt, Iraq, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine, Yemen, Morocco and the Arab League, as well as officials from the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He called on Arab diplomats to work together and achieve their “great mission in Lebanon.”

Bukhari said: “We seek to create ambitious global partnerships and build strong international relations that are based on solid fundamentals, and we seek to achieve all this through a sustainable diplomacy based on human values to achieve security and international peace.”

In the past two months, Bukhari visited different areas of Lebanon to inaugurate Saudi initiatives in the country.


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.