First group of Tunisian pilgrims arrive via Makkah Route initiative

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The pilgrims who benefited from the initiative lauded efforts to facilitate their travel and enable them to perform their duties with ease and comfort. (SPA)
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The pilgrims who benefited from the initiative lauded efforts to facilitate their travel and enable them to perform their duties with ease and comfort. (SPA)
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The pilgrims who benefited from the initiative lauded efforts to facilitate their travel and enable them to perform their duties with ease and comfort. (SPA)
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The pilgrims who benefited from the initiative lauded efforts to facilitate their travel and enable them to perform their duties with ease and comfort. (SPA)
Updated 25 July 2019

First group of Tunisian pilgrims arrive via Makkah Route initiative

  • The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims

MADINAH: The first Makkah Route initiative’s Hajj flight from Tunisia arrived at Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The pilgrims who benefited from the initiative lauded efforts to facilitate their travel and enable them to perform their duties with ease and comfort.

Sami Al-Saidi, Tunisia’s consul general to Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom presents a new service every year to facilitate the journey of pilgrims coming from all over the world.

He thanked the Saudi government for all the services and facilities being provided for pilgrims.

The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims passing through airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.

The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in pilgrims’ own countries.




Tunisian Minister of Youth and Sports Sonia Ben Cheikh sees off the first batch of Tunisian pilgrims travelling via the Makkah Routes intiative. (Supplied)

This enables them to bypass procedures on arrival in the Kingdom, and to head directly to buses waiting to transport them to their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah.

Service authorities deliver pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation in the holy cities.

So far, 479,917 pilgrims have arrived in Madinah since the start of the current Hajj season, according to statistics issued by the National Guides Foundation. The data showed that 279,700 pilgrims left Madinah for Makkah, while 200,192 remained in Madinah.


US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

Updated 25 February 2020

US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

  • The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom
  • Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Monday said Saudi Arabia was an "important strategic partner" and paid tribute to the "historical relations" between the two countries.

The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom during a tour of Middle East and African countries last week.

The State Department added that Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and said the US-Saudi Arabia relationship was a "distinct" one that went beyond confronting Iran.

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It also said that the situation in Syria was "catastrophic," while calling on Russia and Iran to do more to protect civilians and saying there was no military solution to the conflict in the country.

The department also spoke about the situation in Iraq, saying the Iraqi Prime Minister-designate, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, must include the Kurds and Sunnis in the formation of a government.

The US said that Iran was responsible for aggression against its interests in Iraq and said it would prevent Iraqi militias from attacking the Green Zone.