RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah met President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan in the capital Tashkent, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
During his two-day visit, the Saudi minister conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the president, the Uzbek government and the people, conferring their wishes for further growth and prosperity for Uzbekistan in light of the ongoing reforms that the republic is witnessing.
He stressed that the visit is an extension of distinguished historical relations between the two countries. The meeting resulted in several cooperation agreements in various fields, such as the Hajj and Umrah, which reflects the great efforts of the leadership in serving Islam and Muslims and facilitating procedures for pilgrims and Umrah performs.
The minister added that the recent Hajj season saw the participation of some 12,000 Uzbek pilgrims after authorities increased the numbers of pilgrims following the ease of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that more than 36,000 people from Uzbekistan have performed Umrah during the last two months, the majority of whom managed to visit Madinah and pray at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah and travel to religious and historical sites in Madinah.
Al-Rabiah’s visit included the holding of several meetings with various officials to discuss means of enhancing cooperation and developing distinguished ties between the two countries.
Hajj and Umrah services and programs for Uzbek pilgrims have improved as they are now offered electronically through the Nusuk platform, quickly issuing visit and Umrah visas. Al-Rabiah pointed out that the Umrah visa has been extended from one to three months for all Umrah performers of all nationalities.
The minister met with several Uzbek officials as part of boosting cooperation between the two countries and stressing the deep-rooted bilateral relations.
The two officials also reviewed means to enhance strategic bilateral cooperation to enhance the quality of services provided to Uzbek Umrah performers, in addition to discussions on the possibility of increasing the activities of joint committees in several aspects, including increasing the number of flights between the two countries.