RIYADH: Arrangements for Iranians to participate in the upcoming Haj pilgrimage have been completed, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“The Ministry of Haj and Umrah and Iran’s Haj and Pilgrimage Organization have taken all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform Haj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries,” the SPA said.
Necessary steps were taken following a recent meeting in Jeddah between Mohammed Saleh bin Tahir Bentin, Saudi minister of Haj and Umrah, and Hamid Mohammadi, head of Iran’s delegation on Feb. 23, the report said. The ministry has confirmed that Saudi Arabia, its leaders and people welcome all pilgrims, Umrah performers, and visitors, regardless of nationality or sect, from across the Islamic world.
Saudi Arabia is exerting its financial and human resources to serve pilgrims and guests and ensure their safety during the performance of their religious rites and stay in the Kingdom, the SPA said.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency said on March 5 that the country would send around 80,000 pilgrims this year.
Saudi media reported in December that Bentin had invited Iran to discuss arrangements for this year’s Haj. In early March, Iran said there had been progress.
“Most of the questions up for discussion have been resolved and a couple of issues are remaining,” Iran’s ISNA news agency quoted Ali Ghazi Askar, an Iranian official, as saying.
Saudi Arabia oversees more than 2 million Muslims from around the world making the annual pilgrimage to Makkah.
— with input from Reuters, AFP