Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques thanks Second Deputy Premier over successful hajj season

On behalf of King Abdullah, Prince Naif holds annual reception for hajj season

Prince Naif delivers King Abdullah’s speech during reception: Islamic nation worthy of brave pause, capable of non-retreating awakening

Second Deputy Premier receives hajj security commanders, briefed on remarks by control & investigation board

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has thanked Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior and President of Hajj Supreme Committee, for the success of this year's Hajj season.

This came in a reply cable sent to Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz. In the cable, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said:

'We have received your cable in which you and all participants in Hajj congratulated us on Eid Al-Adha and the success of Hajj season of this year 1431.

'We thank you, the brave security men and the participants in serving pilgrims from all civil and military sectors as well as the private sectors for your noble feelings. We thank Allah Almighty for the great success achieved during Hajj season of this year. Allah Almighty has enabled the wise leadership of this country to carry out its duty towards the pilgrims. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has dedicated its resources to serving the pilgrims which resulted in allowing them to perform their Hajj rituals easily, despite the large figure of pilgrims during this year's Hajj season (2.789.399). Their movement was flowing according to security, service, regulatory and preventive plans since their entry into this country until their departure.

'Watering of Zamzam, partial operation of the Mashair train, the completion of the fifth phase of Jamarat project and other projects were of a great help in the success of Hajj season of this year.

'Allah Almighty has honored the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with serving the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors. Since the era of the founder late King Abdulaziz, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was honored to shoulder the responsibility of providing this service by the help of Allah Almighty. Everyone has seen the efforts exerted by the Saudi participants in each season which led to a complete success in carrying out this great responsibility.

'We have completed Hajj season this year with great success and enabled pilgrims to perform their Hajj rituals easily and calmly. We thank Allah Almighty for the great success and congratulate you, the members of Hajj Supreme Committee and the participants from all sectors whose efforts were at the level of desired expectations. We always ask Allah Almighty to help us in serving our religion and our nation.'

Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior and also the President of Hajj Supreme Committee has sent a cable to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in his name and on behalf of the fellow security men, civil and military, who took part in serving the pilgrims, in this year's Hajj, expressing felicitations to the King on the advent of Eid Al-Adha.

Prince Naif congratulated the King, too, on the success of the Hajj of this year, pointing out that the success is attributed to the plans and efforts exerted to facilitate more pilgrims to conduct this holy rite, and to make the current Hajj a success, which witnessed more than 2,789 million pilgrims. That is an increase of 476,121 pilgrim compared to last year, i.e. an increase of 20.5 per cent.

Huge gatherings of tens of thousands of pilgrims were managed in accordance with integrated security, service, health, organizational and protective plans, since their arrival in the Kingdom via land, sea and air entrances leading to the Two Holy Mosques, and from there up to Mina, Muzdalifah and eventually to Arafat.

Tens of thousands, too, of well trained human cadres participated in offering services to facilitate performing this great rite, led by security men to ensure their easy performance and safe return home of the pilgrims.

This year's Hajj witnessed a qualitative addition in services and facilities provided to the pilgrims through carrying out a host of new measurements and several projects as following: 1- Inauguration of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz project for Zamzam watering with a capacity of 200,000 plastic bottles per day of Zamzam water.

2- Partial operation of Masher Train at 25 per cent of its full capacity to commute pilgrim through holy rites and completion of its power-feeding unit.

3- Completion of the 5th phase of Jamarat project.

4- implementation of banning of vehicles with a capacity of transporting less than 20 passengers to enter the holy sites and well prepared parking lots at the entrances of the Holy Capital.

5- Completion of Hajj halls compound project at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah built on a lot of land sized 90,000 sqm.

6- Inauguration of the 3rd stage of shuttling transportation within the holy rites to commute 780,000 pilgrim-passenger during holy rites sites trip.

7- Completion of naming, numbering and guidance for roads, camps and parking lots at the holy rites.

8- Completion of the 2nd stage of flash floods drainage at Mina and Muzdalifah, and the 3rd of flash floods drainage at roads linking the holy rites to Makkah.

The King also was briefed on Hajj supreme Committee's continuous endeavors, in this regard, since the end of last year's Hajj of 1430 H, and commencing carrying on with implementation of its tasks for the next coming Hajj of 1431 H, in line with responsibilities authorized to it by the Cabinet's decision no: 179 dated on 26/6/1429 H. The Committee spared no effort in accordance with the King's noble instructions and auspices for this great Islamic affair as generous and wise Muslim leader of the Saudi loyal people.

Meanwhile, on behalf of King Abdullah, Prince Naif held at the Royal Court at Mina Palace the Annual Reception Ceremony for Presidents, Premiers, and Heads of Hajj missions who are performing Hajj rituals this year.

The most prominent personalities who attended the ceremony included Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir; Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed; Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh; Gabon's President Ali Bongo; Dagestan's President Mohammad Salam Muhammidov; Senegal's Premier Solomon Indeni; Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Karim al-Arhabi; the Secretary General of The Cooperation Council for The Arab States of The Gulf (GCC) Abdulrahman Al-Atiyyah; Iraq's Minister of Interior Jawad al-Bolani; Malaysia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato Sri Anifah; Lebanon's former Prime Minister Najib Mikati; Egypt's former Prime Minister Dr. Abdulaziz Hijazi, and Sultan Ismail Petra of Kelantan State.

The ceremony was also attended by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Makkah Province, who is also Chairman of Hajj Central Committee; Prince Sultan Ibn Mohammed Ibn Saud Al-Kabir; Prince Dr. Mansour Ibn Meteb Ibn Abdulaziz, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs ; Prince Dr. Khalid Ibn Faisal Ibn Turki Al Saud, Deputy Chief of National Guard for the Western Sector; Prince Meshal Ibn Majed Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Jeddah; Prince Turki Ibn Sultan Ibn Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Culture and Information; Prince Faisal Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz, President of Saudi Red Crescent Authority; a number of princes; ministers; Ulema; senior officials and ambassadors of Arab and Islamic countries.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Fu'ad bin Abdulsalam Al-Farsi, Minister of Hajj, gave an account of the achievements of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud domestically and internationally.

He cited, among other things, the call of the monarch for dialogue among followers of different religions, civilizations and cultures, the establishment of an international prize for translation from Arabic language into other languages and vice versa in addition to numerous educational, health and economic projects inside the Kingdom including the grand expansions at the two holy mosques and the Mashaer train.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmohsen Al-Turki thanked the King for patronizing the organization's activities, including the international conferences it held in Makkah and abroad in support for Islamic call.

Sheikh Mahmoud Sidqi Al-Habbash, Chief of Palestinian Hajj Mission, delivered a speech on behalf of his colleagues the chiefs of Hajj missions attending this year's pilgrimage, thanking the Kingdom for the warm welcome, generous hospitality and strict organization accorded for pilgrims this year and describing this year's pilgrimage as successful, safe, secure and comfortable.

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz congratulated pilgrims on the blessed Eid Al-Adh-ha and their successful Hajj, awarded efforts and forgiven sins, wishing them safe and comfortable return home.

He reminded that the Saudi government has mobilized all its capabilities for the comfort and easiness of pilgrims to enable them perform their rituals in ease and comfort and go back safely.

Then Prince Naif delivered a speech addressed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to pilgrims.

In his speech, the monarch welcomed the pilgrims who came to these sacred places from all corners of the world.

He said that our Islamic nation is currently facing tough circumstances, giving rise to concerns that it would not be able to overcome them.

The monarch said that, despite lagging behind the advanced powers of today, the Islamic nation will, no doubt, come from behind one day, bestowed by the mercy of Allah Almighty and its creative work, to achieve a true and non-retreating awakening.

I might not be dreaming if I say that this nation, described by Allah Almighty as the best nation that came to being ever should not deserve to suffer from the situation of today politically, economically and socially, he said. According to lessons of history, a bright future could be prosperous only by creative thoughts which were supported by determined will that depend on Allah Almighty, the monarch added, wishing pilgrims safe return and better situations next year.

Then the guests had lunch with Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

On the other hand, Prince Naif received the commanders of security forces in Hajj for this year (1431H).

Addressing the audience, Prince Naif said 'On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Crown Prince, I express my thanks, appreciation and pride of you and I congratulate you on this unparalleled success of Hajj this year and also on the blessed Eid Al-Adha.'

He praised Allah Almighty for making Hajj safe and blessing the safety of pilgrims, who have performed their Hajj rituals easily and comfortably. He also wished them a safe return to their home-countries.

Prince Naif praised performance of the security forces in Hajj by saying,' You have shown the world that you are capable of efficiently managing the largest gathering of people which is an unprecedented one in the world.'

The Prince said 'We are honored by Allah Almighty to serve the Holy Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Holy Mosque in Madinah and facilitate Hajj and Umrah for all Muslims to perform their rituals easily and comfortably.

''There is a comprehensive plan about how Makkah should be during the next 6 or 8 years. I met with Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the Governor of Makkah Province, who is also Chairman of Hajj Central Committee, in the presence of members of the Committee and the Commission of Makkah Province Development. I was briefed on the great projects to be executed in Makkah at initial costs estimated not less than SR 22 billion. I thank and appreciate Prince Khalid Al-Faisal for his successful and intensive efforts during this Hajj season,' Prince Naif added.

The audience was attended by Prince Ahmad Ibn Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior; Prince Mohammed Ibn Naif Ibn Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs; Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Fahd Ibn Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Member of the Council of Ministers, and President of the Court of Presidency of Council of Ministers; and a number of princes and officials.

Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah announced that Hajj for the year 1431H is free from epidemic or quarantine diseases, and that pilgrims are enjoying good health.

In a press conference, he said 'In line with the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince and the Second Deputy Premier, the Ministry of Health has mobilized all its physical and technical resources in order to provide the highest standards of healthcare and to maintain the well-being of guests of Allah in order that they can perform their religious duties with ease, comfort, and peace of minds.

The Minister said, 'As such the Ministry of Health implemented the following measures:

- Setting health requirements and updating them regularly based on scientific evidence and endorsing them by the World Health Organization.

- Early detection of infectious diseases by implementing a strict surveillance process at all ports of entry of pilgrims, arriving by air, land or sea. This surveillance was effective in preventing entry of infectious diseases in the Kingdom.

- Introduction of state-of-the-art information technology systems, such as remote digital monitoring cameras at all healthcare facilities at Hajj holy sites.

- Increasing the critical care beds-capacity and equipping them with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as the provision of the most advance laboratory equipment in order to identify any new viruses, bacteria and fungi.

In a reply to a question raised by the Saudi Press Agency's (SPA) reporter about the Health Ministry playing any additional roles other than the provision of the medical treatment during the Hajj season , Dr. Al-Rabiah said the Ministry assisted more than 370 pilgrims in the process of ascending from Mina to Arafat by ambulances, adding that it also helped in transferring 37 pilgrims in ambulances from Madinah to Makkah.