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Home » Business » India, Saudi Arabia ink agreement, over 1.75 lakh pilgrims quota fixed for this year – India TV

India, Saudi Arabia ink agreement, over 1.75 lakh pilgrims quota fixed for this year – India TV

Haj, Saudi Arabia
Image Source : AP Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Haj 2024: India and Saudi Arabia signed a bilateral agreement under which New Delhi has been allocated a quota of more than 1.75 lakh pilgrims for the 2024 annual Haj pilgrimage.

Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 with Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan in Jeddah.

1,75,025 pilgrims finalised for Haj 2024

According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, a total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been finalised for Haj 2024 with 1,40,020 seats being reserved for pilgrims to proceed through the Haj Committee of India which will greatly benefit the common first-time pilgrims intending to undertake the Haj pilgrimage in 2024 whereas 35,005 pilgrims would be permitted to proceed through Haj Group Operators.

“Pleased to announce the formalisation of the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 between India and Saudi Arabia. I, along with Hon’ble MoS for External Affairs, Shri @MOS_MEA, presided over the signing. Also engaged in productive discussions on matters of mutual interest with @tfrabiah, Saudi Minister of Haj and Umrah Affairs,” Irani said in a post on X.

She said the Saudi delegation expressed sincere appreciation for India’s exceptional digital initiatives, particularly in providing essential last-mile information to pilgrims. “Our proposal to encourage the participation of women without Mehram in the Haj pilgrimage further underscores our commitment to inclusivity,” she added.

She said that discussions also encompassed plans for the enhancement of medical facilities, ensuring the comprehensive well-being of all pilgrims. “I deeply value the collaborative spirit exhibited during these deliberations and eagerly anticipate the continued fortification of our bilateral relations.”

India’s digital initiatives appreciated by Saudi 

During the meeting, India’s digital initiatives in facilitating and promoting ease and convenience for the Haj pilgrims were greatly appreciated by the Saudi side and the Gulf Kingdom offered to extend all possible help, the ministry said in a statement. “The initiative of the Government of India towards encouraging participation under the Ladies without Mehram (LWM) category was discussed, deeply appreciated and lauded,” it added.

Subsequent to the signing of the Bilateral Haj Agreement and the meeting with the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Smriti Irani accompanied by Muraleedharan visited the Haj Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport in  Jeddah to oversee the arrangements for Haj pilgrims and explore ways to facilitate better logistics and monitoring mechanism for the convenience of the Indian Haj pilgrims. 

The Indo-Saudi partnership has deepened in recent years, marked by sustained engagement across various sectors. The visit will further strengthen the strategic partnership placing Haj as a vital dimension in this relationship, the statement said.

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Author: Gcd News

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