French envoy lauds facilities for pilgrims

Updated 10 October 2014
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French envoy lauds facilities for pilgrims

French Consul General Louis Blaine visited the headquarters of the Non-Arab Pilgrims’ Foundation of African Countries recently. He praised the efforts and facilities provided to them by the Kingdom during the Haj pilgrimage.
Blaine lauded the efforts of the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for providing excellent facilities to the pilgrims’ foundation for the maximum comfort and safety of the pilgrims.
Blaine also met with chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, Abdul Wahid Burhan Saifuddin, and thanked him for the facilities provided to French pilgrims.
He said that he had visited the French pilgrims’ camps during the Haj and was very pleased with the facilities and level of comfort that were provided to them to complete their rituals in peace and safety.
Nearly 17,800 French pilgrims did Haj this year with 727 of them performing it with the Tawafa Organization for Pilgrims of non-Arab African countries while the rest performed the Haj under other foundations.
He expressed his satisfaction at seeing no cases of epidemics or quarantines for any of the French pilgrims.
He said the French Consulate follows up with the situation of the pilgrims during the Haj every year by visiting the pilgrims’ camps inside the holy sites. He noted that the Saudi government had made excellent arrangements for the Haj on a large scale as many big projects were going on simultaneously at the holy sites to facilitate pilgrims.
He also explained that the arrival of the French pilgrims were organized by 48 companies and tourist associations concerned with the affairs of Haj pilgrims, declaring that the French authorities were concerned with the public interest of the pilgrims.
Blaine said that there is a lot of difference between the Haj in 1985 and 2014 as there are stunning developments at the holy sites to provide services and facilities to the pilgrims.
He said that the pilgrimage represents a major challenge for the government of Saudi Arabia and its people to make it successful for millions of Muslims.
Saifuddin said that the government had provided all the necessary security and civilian personnel to ensure a successful pilgrimage.
He said that the inspection visit of the French consul general to the headquarters of the institution in Mina comes in the framework of cooperation and coordination between the institution and the French Consulate General, and he wished all pilgrims a safe journey home.


Saudi Arabia’s UN envoy meets senior MSF officials

Updated 12 min 56 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s UN envoy meets senior MSF officials

  • They discussed the humanitarian and medical efforts of MSF in a number of regions facing crises and disasters
  • Al-Mouallimi commended these efforts and stressed the Kingdom’s constant support for MSF

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN on Thursday met two top officials from the aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi received Dr. Joanne Liu, MSF international president, and Fabien Dubuet, MSF’s representative to the UN, at his New York office.

They discussed the humanitarian and medical efforts of MSF in a number of regions facing crises and disasters.

Al-Mouallimi commended these efforts and stressed the Kingdom’s constant support for MSF.

He discussed the crisis in Yemen and stated that the Iran-backed Houthi militia was hindering international efforts to achieve peace in the country.

The war in Yemen between the Houthis and troops loyal to the internationally recognized government began in 2014 when militias seized the capital. In December 2018, the Houthi militia and Yemen’s government agreed to a deal in Sweden, known as the Stockholm agreement.

Al-Mouallimi said that the Houthis’ violations of this agreement was aggravating the suffering of Yemenis.

The Kingdom was doing all it could to alleviate the pain of Yemenis through its commitment to international treaties and providing humanitarian aid on the ground in cooperation with international organizations operating there, he added.

Liu discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, talking about MSF’s efforts to help the needy and the difficulties hampering these efforts.

She also said that thousands of Syrian families needed help and medical care, especially in Idlib.