‘Haj rituals proceeding according to plans’

Muslim pilgrims walk on roads as they head to cast stones at pillars symbolizing Satan during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina on the first day of Eid al-Adha, near the holy city of Makah, Saudi Arabia on Monday. (Agencies)
Updated 14 September 2016

‘Haj rituals proceeding according to plans’

RIYADH: A top official said all security and military units participating in the management of Haj were serving in accordance with security and preventive plans set up before the pilgrimage started.

Gen. Osman bin Nasser Al-Muhrej, director general of public security and chairman of the Haj Security Committee, said the work was carried out with due quality and efficiency, as required by the mission, to ensure security, peace and tranquility for pilgrims.
He attributed the achievement to the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the constant follow-up on the part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
Al-Muhrej also thanked Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, who followed up on pilgrim security plans and on services to pilgrims in Madinah.
In Mina, meanwhile, Civil Defense teams have been carrying out field visits to ensure that all the safety requirements in Mina tents are in place.
Brig. Gen. Nasir bin Ali Al-Nahari, commander of the Civil Defense in Mina, stressed the readiness of the Civil Defense teams to make quick interventions in cases of emergency and implement the plans in place.
These plans covered risks associated with crowding and medical evacuation, in coordination with all concerned parties and the train-operating company, he said.
He added that the Civil Defense teams in Mina have been focusing on the safety requirements in the tents and monitoring incidents that could be hazardous or lead to accidents.
He said a number of water and mountain rescue teams were deployed in areas vulnerable to rain and flooding.
A full firefighting network of quick response units and anti-hazardous materials teams was also prepared to deal with potential dangers, including chemical pollution, he said.
Al-Nahari said that there is a detailed plan to shelter pilgrims in Mina in case of emergencies in certain locations.
He had appealed to the Haj-organizing agencies to raise awareness among pilgrims on how to avoid erroneous behaviors during their presence in Mina and to coordinate with safety and preventive teams in this regard.


GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.