Saudi clarifies position on Iran Hajj negations

Staff Reporter
Riyadh —The government of Saudi Arabia Sunday issued a press release detailing its position regarding the recent Saudi-Iran Hajj negations. The PR says, subsequent to statement of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on May 12, 2016 about the refusal of Iranian Organization for Hajj and Visits to sign minutes to conclude arrangements of Iranian pilgrims for this year 2016, and in compliance with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al- Saud and his sagacious government, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to the desire of the Chairman of Iranian Organization of Hajj and Visits and his accompanying delegation to come to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for signing the minutes to conclude arrangements of Iranian pilgrims’ arrival to perform Hajj rituals this year 2016.
The ministry formally received the delegation and provided all facilitates to them, including enabling them to perform Umrah. After that, continuous protracted meetings were held on 25-26/05/2016. The two sides dealt with all topics that have been discussed in previous meetings.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah suggested a number of solutions for all points raised by the Iranian Organization of Hajj and visits that included:
Issuing visas electronically from inside Iran in accordance with mechanism agreed with the Saudi Foreign Ministry
Transporting pilgrims equally between the Saudi national carrier and Iranian national carrier. Approving the Iranian request by letting it to be diplomatically represented through the Swiss embassy in order to take care of Iranian pilgrims’ interests. It was immediately coordinated with the competent authorities for implementation.
However, at dawn on Friday May 27, 2016, the Iranian mission expressed its desire to leave for home without signing the minutes of arrangements of the Iranian pilgrims’ affairs. Accordingly, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah underscores that the mission of the Iranian Hajj and Visits Organization which refused to sign the minutes of arrangements for Iranian pilgrims for the Year 2016, will be responsible before Allah Almighty and its people for inability of the Iranian citizens to perform Hajj this year.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah also clarifies that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stressed its categorical rejection to politicize Hajj rituals.
Upon directives of the Kingdom’s wise leadership, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is always ready to cooperate for serving the pilgrims and facilitating their arrival procedures.

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