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Old 25-10-2010, 09:09 AM
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Post Abdullah to host 1,300 pilgrims

Abdullah to host 1,300 pilgrims

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS
Published: Oct 25, 2010 00:05 Updated: Oct 25, 2010 00:05



JEDDAH: As many as 1,300 Muslims around the world will perform Haj this year as guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh said on Sunday.

He said the guest pilgrims would come from Turkey, Ukraine, Moldavia, Belarus, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Seychelles, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and North Cyprus.


“Some of the guest pilgrims will be arriving from African and South American countries,” Al-Asheikh said, adding that his ministry has made all preparations to receive them and provide various services.


So far 15,368 Muslims around the globe have performed Haj during the past years as guests of the Kingdom. The program has been managed by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance.


“We have set out a special program for the king’s guests and set up a number of committees to supervise various services rendered to these guests,” Al-Asheikh said.
Earlier, King Abdullah announced his plan to host 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims, including relatives of prisoners serving life sentences, released prisoners as well as relatives of martyrs.


King Abdullah invites thousands of pilgrims from different countries, including leaders of Muslim communities and senior government officials, to perform Haj every year.
Meanwhile, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal warned Haj service companies against exploiting pilgrims. “Those who cheat pilgrims will face stiff punishment,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the governor as saying.


Prince Khaled told everybody to follow the government’s Haj instructions, including a ban on vehicles carrying less than 25 passengers from entering Makkah and other holy places.


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