Saudi Shoura Speaker congratulates Iraq on restoring its regional, international role

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh meets Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi in Baghdad on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 20 April 2019
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Saudi Shoura Speaker congratulates Iraq on restoring its regional, international role

BAGHDAD: The speaker of the Shoura Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, on Saturday praised the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in strengthening Saudi-Iraqi relations.

Al-Asheikh was speaking at the Baghdad Summit of Parliaments of Neighboring Countries of Iraq.

The summit, hosted by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi, gathered top lawmakers from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait to discuss regional security, diplomacy and economic issues. Al-Asheikh said Saudi-Iraqi relations have recently developed after the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Riyadh with a high-level delegation.

Al-Asheikh stressed the desire of both countries’ leaderships to promote bilateral relations and common interests.

“We are meeting today at this summit to celebrate the victory of brotherly Iraq over terrorism and the elimination of the Daesh terrorist organization,” he said. 

“My country has contributed to the efforts of the international coalition forces to eliminate it and enact more legislation and laws that criminalize it.”

Al-Halbousi said his country’s relations with neighboring states are strong, and Iraq intends to develop them. 

“Today, Iraq is building a promising strategic partnership with all neighboring countries without any reservations or favoring any party,” he added.

Visiting officials pledged support for reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq, and for the country’s continued stability following its victory over Daesh after three years of war, Al-Halbousi said.

Iraq continues to fight terror with regional and international assistance, he added, thanking all countries that have supported this fight. 

The summit dealt with a number of topics, notably strengthening parliamentary cooperation between Iraq and neighboring countries, and supporting regional efforts against terrorism.

Baghdad and Riyadh have been at loggerheads since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but they have recently undertaken a diplomatic push to improve ties.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.