King Salman holds annual reception for senior officials performing Hajj

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman hosted an annual reception for heads of states and dignitaries performing Hajj this year. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman hosted an annual reception for heads of states and dignitaries performing Hajj this year. (SPA)
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King Salman meets New Zealand police superintendent Naila Hassan in Mina on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2019

King Salman holds annual reception for senior officials performing Hajj

  • King Salman said the Kingdom has made the safety of pilgrims the the top of their concerns
  • Guests from Yemen, Djibouti, Guinea, Iraq and Mauritania attended the reception

MINA, Saudi Arabia: King Salman held his annual reception on Monday for heads of state, Islamic dignitaries, guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, government bodies, and heads of delegations and pilgrim affairs offices who performed Hajj this year.
At the Royal Court of Mina Palace in Makkah, the guests were led by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi; Djibouti’s Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed; Guinea’s Prime Minister Dr. Ibrahim Kasuri Fofana; former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, head of the ruling party of Mauritius, Shaukat Sudhan, who is also in charge of Hajj affairs; President of the Malaysian People’s Justice Party Anwar Ibrahim; Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wan Azizah bint Wan Ismail, who is also minister of women, family and community development; and speakers of houses of representatives from a number of Islamic countries.
In his speech, King Salman said: “In Hajj, the fundamental call of Islam is reflected in the unity of the nation, as in this great gathering in these holy sites at one time and in one place, responding to the call of Allah for Hajj to the ancient house of Allah, leaving behind the adornment of the worldly life.
“Allah has honored Saudi Arabia to serve the Two Holy Mosques and the guests of Allah, a service we are proud of; we have made their care and safety the top of our concerns and harnessed everything that helps them to perform their Hajj by integrated projects aiming to facilitate the performance of Hajj and the safety of visitors to the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, complementing the great efforts exerted by the kings of this country since the era of its founder, the late King Abdul Aziz.”
Later, King Salman arrived in Jeddah having been reassured of the comfort of pilgrims and their Hajj journey in Makkah and the sacred places on the outskirts of the holy capital, and of the quality of the services and facilities that enabled them to perform their rituals in ease and safety.
Upon departure from the Royal Court, the king was seen off by Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, and a number of senior officials.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.