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Saudi Arabia

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.

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