King hosts 1,400 pilgrims from 70 countries

SaudiA total of 1,400 Muslim leaders from more than 70 countries will perform Haj this year as guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, said Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh on Tuesday.
“King Abdullah has instructed us to make arrangements for hosting 1,400 pilgrims from different countries around the world to perform Haj this year as his guests,” said Al-Asheikh.
He said the king’s gesture reflects his care and support for Muslims all over the world and his keenness to strengthen Islamic solidarity by enhancing relations between Muslims in different countries.
The royal guests will come from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Maldives and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Muslim leaders from Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, India, Serbia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Iceland, Niger, Uganda, Rwanda, Madagascar, Zambia, Comoros Islands, Kenya and Tanzania are also among royal invitees.
“We have hosted more than 22,000 Muslim leaders, including women, to perform Haj as royal guests in recent years,” the minister said, adding that new people are selected for the program every year. “This year’s guests include pilgrims from 40 African countries,” he said.
The ministry has taken every measure to make the program a big success and take care of the royal guests. “We have set up several committees for this purpose,” said Al-Asheikh.

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