New Sri Lankan envoy vows to strengthen ties with KSA

Updated 27 November 2015
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New Sri Lankan envoy vows to strengthen ties with KSA

JEDDAH: The new Sri Lankan ambassador to Saudi Arabia has stressed the importance of improving the island nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Ambassador Azmi Thassim was speaking during his recent visit to the Sri Lankan International School in Jeddah. “Our country is looking forward to a positive change and it is our duty as citizens to work together to put the country first,” he said. “It is as important to start educating our community back in Sri Lanka that they should understand and respect the laws of Saudi Arabia.”
Thassim decried attacks on the rules and regulations of the Kingdom in the Sri Lankan media.
“This can harm our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The problem lies with the lack of awareness of local laws. If someone is not happy with the laws of Kingdom, they should choose not to come.”
“It is essential to educate ourselves and our community about the rules and regulations of a country before we go there,” he said.
“As the ambassador, I wish to work on building rapport between the two countries and keep it going,” said Thassim.
Thassim commended the relationship because of its contribution to the Sri Lankan foreign exchange.
He lauded the efforts of all those who contributed in bringing the community school to a professional level and praised the young talents of the students. He emphasized the importance of public speaking initiative, which is one of the main extra-curricular activities at the school.
He encouraged volunteerism and said that majority of the work must come from those who are willing to contribute as volunteers, "whether it is to develop the school, community or the country."
The ambassador urged parents to put forward their views and requested them to keep him informed of all affairs in the school.
“It is essential that we work as a team; from the embassy to the consulate general to the school and other volunteers in order to develop our younger generation to be leaders of the future,” he said.
The welcome reception for Thassim was hosted by SLISJ’s board of management.
Mohamed Ilyas, the SLISJ chairman, highlighted the improvement in the school’s academic standard. He stated that the management sorted out the issue of insufficient accommodation for the new students by expanding the school premises.
The chairman expressed gratitude to the ambassador for his time and the parents and teachers for their support.
“The school focuses on promoting a high level of learning culture,” said Basheer Rizvi, the school principal. “As long as we have a dedicated team aiming for the same goal, everything can be achieved.”


Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.