Indonesian, Yemeni Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

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Indonesian Hajj pilgrims arriving in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Indonesian Hajj pilgrims arriving in Jeddah. (SPA)
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The Yemeni pilgrims were greeted with gifts and roses. (SPA)
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The Yemeni pilgrims were greeted with gifts and roses. (SPA)
Updated 22 July 2019

Indonesian, Yemeni Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

  • The pilgrims were received by Indonesian Deputy Chief of Mission to Saudi Arabia
  • A ceremony was organized to welcome the pilgrims landing in Jeddah

JEDDAH: The second phase of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims started landing in Jeddah with the arrival of a 455-strong contingent from Makasar’s Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in South Sulawesi.
The pilgrims were received by Indonesian Deputy Chief of Mission to Saudi Arabia Dicky Yunus and Indonesian Consul General Mohamad Hery Saripudin at King Abdul Aziz International Airport on Saturday.
A ceremony was organized to welcome the pilgrims landing in Jeddah, where they were served an Indonesian breakfast.
As many as 529 Garuda Indonesia and Saudia flights are transporting the pilgrims, 296 of which are carrying a total of 120,500 passengers to Jeddah during the period July 20 to Aug. 6.
More than 800 Hajj personnel and officers from Indonesia Religious Affairs Ministry and 308 health-care professionals from Health Ministry have been deployed to assist the pilgrims.
About 231,000 Indonesian pilgrims are expected to perform Hajj this year, including the additional quota 10,000 granted by King Salman.
The increasing quota of the Indonesian Hajj pilgrims will hopefully cut the waiting list, which is currently 40 years long.
The Indonesian Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi visited the special lounge of Makkah Route initiative for Indonesian pilgrims at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.
The minister was briefed on the process and procedures of Makkah Route initiative. He expressed his admiration for the initiative and extended thanks and gratitude to Saudi Arabia for its efforts to serve Islam, Muslims, and pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Al-Wadiah border port received the first batch of pilgrims coming from Yemen on Sunday.
Their entry procedures were finalized with ease and the pilgrims were greeted with gifts and roses, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
The Director of Passports of Najran region, Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Saleh Al-Sulaiman, said that the port's passports department has completed all the preparations to receive the pilgrims coming to perform Hajj this year, including deploying trained and qualified cadres to support the pilgrims, modern anti-counterfeiting equipment, and biometric computers to ensure efficiency and speed in completing the pilgrim's entry procedures.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 45 min 32 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.