|January 21, 2005|
PRINCE NAIF IBN ABDUL AZIZ INSPECTS THE HOLY SITES AND MAKKAH AND SATISFIES WITH THE ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE THE COMFORT OF THE PILGRIMS.
THE INTERIOR MINISTER: PEOPLE OF THE KINGDOM WILL TOLERATE ANY THING BUT NOT UNDERMINING THE SECURITY OF THEIR COUNTRY.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CUSTODIAN OF THE TWO HOLY MOSQUES MOVES TOWARDS PUTTING A SCIENTIFIC AND JURISTIC STRATEGY TO WASH THE DEVIANT THOUGHTS.
Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister, and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee toured the holy sites and Makkah and inspected the preparations, services and capabilities devoted to the service and comfort of the pilgrims during this year Hajj according to the instructions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard and Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Aviation and Inspector General.
During the tour, Prince Naif inspected security and other facilities put in place in the holy sites, the forces in charge of Hajj security, including riot and anti-terror units, traffic and highway security forces and civil defence units.
He also inspected some of the new equipment introduced for the first time to ensure additional safety for the pilgrims.
Upon his arrival to camps of the emergency special forces, Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, was received by Prince Mohammed Ibn Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz. Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, General Mahmoud Ibn Mohammed Bakhash, Director of Public Security Lieutenant General Saeed Ibn Abdullah Al Qahtani and senior commanders of Al Hajj security forces.
Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, was briefed by officials on security arrangements in the holy sites.
The Interior Minister was accompanied during his inspecting tour by Prince Dr Khaled Ibn Faisal Ibn Turki Acting Undersecretary of the National Guard for the Western Sector, Sheikh Saleh Al Hosain, General President for the Affairs of the Al Haram Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, Dr Fouad Ibn Abdul Salam Al Farsi, the Minister of Culture and Information, Aiad Ibn Amine Madani, the Minister of Hajj, Dr Ibrahim Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Assaf, the Minister of Finance, Dr Hashem Ibn Abdullah Yamani, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr Hama Ibn Abdullah Al Manea, the Minister of Health, Dr Jabarah Al Suraisery, the Minister of Transportation, Khaled Al Qusaibi, the Minister of Planning and Economy, Eng. Mohammed Jameel Mulla, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mohammed Al Nafea, President of the Surveillance and Investigation Authority, Dr Nasser Ibn Mohammed Al Saloom, the Secretary General of the Authority of Developing Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites, members of the Supreme Hajj Committee and heads of government departments involved in Hajj services.
Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made sufficient security arrangements to secure the safety of pilgrims during the coming Hajj which climaxes with the Standing on Arafat on Wednesday.
Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz stressed that new security equipment and machinery deployed in the Hajj sites are meant to ensure maximum safety for pilgrims.
He added that Saudi security forces are fully geared to meet any contingency.
Prince Naif said 7500 pilgrims have arrived from Libya and that they will be treated just as other Arab and Muslim pilgrims are treated. In answer to a question, he said all pilgrims will be treated as pilgrims.
Asked about gangs from certain countries who indulge in child and organ trading during Hajj, Prince Naif said they will be sternly dealt with.
The Interior Minister called on the media to report Hajj objectively and with clarity without blowing things out of proportion.
Prince Naif has made it clear that the Saudi people will never tolerate undermining the security of their country, and said 'all Saudis, either men or women, are actually security men.'
Addressing the press conference after touring the governmental departments, and after being briefed on the arrangements made for this year's Hajjj season, Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz said the achievements attained by the security men in the last days had embodied the keenness of the citizens on preserving their security.
'Thanks to Almighty Allah, the security men are capable of efficiently and bravely confronting all possible developments,', he said.
Meanwhile, Prince Naif said the required arrangement have been made to confront the problems that might be caused by the large numbers of pilgrims at the jamrat (stoning) zone in Mina, and added 'the security men will spare no effort for ensuring the safety of the pilgrims'.
'We are hopeful that no sad incidents will take place this year at the jamrat zone', he noted.
Prince Naif urged the pilgrims, notably the Hajj missions, guides and officials of the Perambulation establishments to cooperate with the concerned authorities so as to enable the pilgrims throw stones at the jamrat zone easily and quietly.
On the other hand, Prince Naif said the concerned Saudi security authorities would not allow any Saudi to go to Iraq for participation in the fighting operations, noting that 'but unfortunately, it will be possible for some Saudis to go there indirectly.
'Participation of any Saudi in any work that may undermine the security of Iraqi will never be accepted', he said.
As regards the Libyan pilgrims, Prince Naif said their number is about 7500, and added that 'they will be treated as other pilgrims'.
He confirmed that all required security measures would be strictly implemented during the Hajjj season
Prince Naif urged the media to accurately and honestly cover the Hajj season.
Meanwhile, he underlined the importance of taking the opportunity of the Hajj season for preaching the proper and moderate Islam, and the enlightenment of the public opinion as well as for combating the deviated ideas.
Prince Naif pointed out that the Saudi government is planning to set a well-studied strategy for correcting wrong conceptions and deviated ideas, and hoped that the aforesaid strategy would soon be implemented.
Prince Naif highlighted the Saudi-Yemeni relations, and said they are deep-rooted and fraternal'.
Confirming the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to carry out the articles of the Saudi Yemeni treaty, Prince Naif said 'the Saudi people and leadership place fraternal feelings towards their Yemeni brethren, but this does not necessarily mean that systems and regulations will be violated'.
Prince Naif expressed satisfaction over the existing security cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen in combating terrorism, and said cooperation between the Saudi and Yemeni authorities is a normal matter, and 'we do feel a genuine keenness on the continuation of such cooperation'.
The Interior Minister noted that the project of developing the bridge of jamrat was still under study.
On the security of the pilgrims, Prince Naif said 'as far as we know the pilgrims have come here for performing Hajj rituals, but at the same time we will take all required precautionary measures for confronting any possible development, and we will loudly tell all evildoers 'no place here for subversive acts'.
He lauded the positive outcome of the recent meeting of the Arab interior Ministers, held in Tunisia
Prince Naif underlined the importance of cooperation of the Muslim countries with the Saudi authorities for making the Hajjj season successful, and said 'we will definitely appreciate such cooperation'.
On the other hand, Prince Naif noted that the list earlier announced containing names of persons wanted by the security authorities had not contained all names of terrorists.
Meanwhile, he confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had never been officially informed about the detainment of 14 Saudis in Iraq, and added 'but we will be following up the issue so as to get acquainted with facts in this respect'.
Prince Naif pointed out that Islam does not tolerate terrorism, because it is a heavenly religion which advocates peace and love.
"We hope nothing will happen to disturb Hajj security (and) we are sure that everyone coming here is doing so to perform Hajj," he told a news conference.
"But security incidents do not declare themselves in advance. You cannot guess what a criminal can do," the Interior Minister said.
Prince Naif added that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was doing all it could to stop militants using Hajj as a staging post for crossing into neighbouring Iraq.
"Victory, power, determination and will!" elite anti-terror forces dressed head-to-foot in black chanted as they marched past Prince Naif.
Then Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, honoured a number of personalities who were awarded the Hajj medal for the current year and they are: Dr Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ali the President od Islamic Bank for Development, Eng. Ahmed Ali Bayazeed Undersecretary of the Holy Capital foe Development and Projects, Dr Sami Yaseen Barhameen, the Secretary General of the Higher Authority for developing Makkah region and Dr Khaled Obaid Zafar, the General Supervisor of Al Nour Specialized Hospital.
Nearly two million pilgrims, more than half of them from abroad, are expected to perform Hajj this year. The five-day ritual began on Tuesday. Saudi authorities have deployed additional security and military forces in Makkah and the surrounding areas to ensure the safety of pilgrims.
Police reinforcements have been deployed at the entrances to Makkah and on the roads leading to the holy sites in order to facilitate traffic. Over 14,200 buses will be used to transport pilgrims within the holy sites.
More than 50,000 security men have been deployed to secure Hajj, said Brig. Mansour Al-Turki, the Ministry of Interior spokesman. Between 70 and 80 percent of their task is primarily concerned with traffic control and ensuring the safety of pilgrims. More than 10,000 officers have been deployed to deal with any developments related to security matters.
The Director of Public Security, Gen. Saeed Al Qahtani, said security men were determined to "exert maximum effort to accomplish the mission they have been assigned to do" adding they consider the service of pilgrims and ensuring their safety an honour.
"The security forces would confront anyone who tries to destabilize the security or achievements of this country," he said in a speech while outlining the Hajj security plan.
Meanwhile, Minister of Hajj Iyad Madani toured the pilgrims' reception and welcoming centres along the Jeddah-Makkah express way and Makkah-Madinah express way.
During the tours, he inspected work at the two centres and was briefed on the pilgrims' welcoming program there.
The minister also inspected the 22 centres for guidance of lost pilgrims in holy places.
Minister of Health Dr. Hamad Al Manea toured today a number of medical facilities working to serve pilgrims in Makkah and the holy sites.
Following the tour, the minister highlighted the Ministry of Health's efforts to provide medical care to the pilgrims in the holy sites of Hajj.
Minister of Health Dr. Hamad Al Manea met with senior officials of the Ministry to review the Ministry's preparations for the Hajj season.
In a press conference following the meeting, the minister stated that the health condition of the pilgrims is good.
The minister highlighted the Ministry's great efforts to provide medical care for the pilgrims.
Hajj was free from any epidemic disease, Dr. Khalid Marghalani, the Spokesman of the Health Ministry, announced.
He added that the health state of the pilgrims was good.
Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister, and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee has directed the Ministry of Interior to host families of those who died as martyrs in anti-deviant group operations to perform Hajj this year as guests of the ministry.
This gesture from the Minister of Interior expresses gratitude for sacrifices by the martyrs and their families.