French pilgrims commend well-organized Haj

Updated 18 October 2014
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French pilgrims commend well-organized Haj

French Consul Genera Louis Blaine said that about 18, 000 pilgrims from France performed Haj this year, including 1,000 from the French islands in Africa. He said that the majority had departed after completing the pilgrimage.
Blaine noted that the decision to reduce the number of pilgrims this year due to the expansion project in Holy Mosque in Makkah had greatly addressed the problem of congestion and overcrowding and contributed to a better organized pilgrimage season.
Throughout Haj, Blaine inspected the accommodation of the pilgrims in Makkah and camps in Arafat and Mina, saying he would leave Makkah only after the last French pilgrim had departed from the holy city. He also said that a special branch was opened by the French Consulate to follow up on issues of French pilgrims.
Blaine stressed that French pilgrims are eager to perform Haj and Umrah every year, pointing out that nearly 40,000 Haj and Umrah visas were granted to pilgrims this year.
He praised the efforts of the Kingdom, as well as Pilgrims Foundation in Turkey, Europe, America, and Australia for the provision of excellent services to pilgrims.
He described the Haj season this year as perfect across all standards, as well as reflective of the positive efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman to overcome obstacles and provide utmost convenience and safety to all pilgrims.
He said the consulate has opened a special department, which works around the clock to serve the pilgrims, noting that there are frequent meetings between the minister of Haj and other top officials to address all matters that serve pilgrim interests.


Saudi Arabia’s UN envoy meets senior MSF officials

Updated 12 min 14 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.