Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Arabia Announces Success of Hajj Season

Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, on the first day of the holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, on June 16, 2024. (AFP)
Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, on the first day of the holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, on June 16, 2024. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia Announces Success of Hajj Season

Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, on the first day of the holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, on June 16, 2024. (AFP)
Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, on the first day of the holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, on June 16, 2024. (AFP)

Saudi Minister of Health Fahd bin Abdul Rahman Al-Jalajel declared on Tuesday the success of this year’s Hajj.

He announced the success of health plans for the Hajj, adding no outbreak of disease or other threats to public health were reported despite the significant number of pilgrims and the challenges posed by high temperatures.

Al-Jalajel expressed his gratitude to the Saudi leadership, and the unwavering support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the close follow-up of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The minister highlighted the extensive resources allocated to ensure pilgrim well-being, which included 189 well-equipped hospitals, health centers, and mobile clinics with a combined capacity of over 6,500 beds, over 40,000 medical, technical, administrative staff, and volunteers.

They were supported by more than 370 ambulances, seven air ambulances, and a strong logistics network encompassing 12 laboratories, 60 supply trucks, and three mobile medical warehouses strategically positioned across the holy sites.

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual Hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP)

Al-Jalajel said the ministry served over 390,000 pilgrims. Services included performing more than 28 open-heart surgeries, 720 cardiac catheterizations, and 1,169 dialysis sessions. The Seha Virtual Hospital provided virtual consultations to over 5,800 pilgrims, primarily for heat-related illnesses, enabling prompt intervention and mitigating the potential for a surge in cases.

Al-Jalajel commended the collaborative effort of various healthcare entities. He acknowledged the contributions of the Makkah Health Cluster, the Red Crescent Authority, the Public Health Authority (Weqaya), and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, as well as the valuable support provided by the National Unified Procurement Company (NUPCO), the Health Volunteer Center, and all other stakeholders in the Kingdom's health sector.

He highlighted the measures implemented by the Supreme Hajj Committee, led by Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, which aimed to protect pilgrims from the risks of high temperatures during rituals and address potential health challenges.

He expressed his appreciation for the Ministry of Interior's contribution to implementing effective health plans.

The minister extended his gratitude to Makkah Governor and Chairman of the Central Hajj Committee Prince Khalid bin Faisal, Deputy Governor and Vice Chairman of the Central Hajj Committee Prince Saud bin Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, and the Municipality of Makkah for their pivotal role in achieving this success.

He underscored that this accomplishment reflects the seamless collaboration between all government agencies and the early preparations made within the framework of the Pilgrim Experience Program.

Muslim pilgrims cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual Hajj, as it rains in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP)

Al-Jalajel specifically acknowledged the Central Hajj Committee's recommendation for pilgrims to avoid performing rituals during peak temperatures, which significantly contributed to safeguarding their health and minimizing heat stress injuries.

The minister praised the Pilgrim Experience Program for its role in fostering cooperation among Hajj stakeholders and unifying their efforts to create a unique, positive Hajj experience.

He expressed gratitude to healthcare providers from the Ministry of Defense, the National Guard, and the Ministry of Interior for their expertise in coordinating efforts and delivering healthcare services to pilgrims, and highlighted the seamless integration with other healthcare providers, which ensured prompt medical attention to all pilgrims.

Al-Jalajel further lauded the spirit of cooperation and solidarity among all personnel involved in serving pilgrims. He thanked all healthcare workers, security personnel, and other workers who contributed with dedication and tireless efforts to a successful Hajj season.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to Reach Just Solution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to Reach Just Solution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)

The Saudi government reiterated on Tuesday its welcoming of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) advisory opinion on Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories and the court’s confirmation of the illegality of the Israeli presence in the territories over the past 57 years.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the cabinet meeting that was held in Jeddah.

The government renewed the Kingdom’s position on the need for practical and credible steps to be taken to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict according to the 2002 Arab peace initiative and international resolutions.

The cabinet was briefed on the telephone talks held between Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

The calls focused on joint relations and ways to boost and develop them.

The cabinet reviewed the latest regional and international developments and Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to end the war on Gaza and support peace in Yemen to achieve regional security and stability.

It urged the international community, particularly active and influential parties, to assume its responsibilities and stop tensions in the region.

At the domestic level, the cabinet reviewed the latest economic developments and key indicators, including the stabilization of inflation in recent months due to the robustness of the Kingdom's economy and the effective measures and policies implemented to address the ramifications of rising global prices.