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Smriti Irani to Visit Saudi Arabia to Sign Hajj Agreement and Boost Ties

Smriti Irani to Visit Saudi Arabia to Sign Hajj Agreement and Boost Ties
Union Minister of Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Zubin Irani will embark on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia from tomorrow, accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan. The visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of Hajj.

Mrs. Irani is leading a delegation to sign the bilateral Hajj Agreement in Jeddah, which will facilitate the smooth and hassle-free pilgrimage of Indian Muslims to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The agreement will also cover issues such as accommodation, transportation, medical care, and security of the pilgrims.

During the visit, Mrs. Irani will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, and discuss issues of mutual interest and concern, including the arrangements for the Hajj to be held this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The two ministers will also exchange views on enhancing the cultural and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

The delegation will also meet the Indian business community and the Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia, and apprise them of the various initiatives and schemes of the Indian government for their welfare and development. The delegation will also explore the potential areas of trade and investment between the two countries, which have witnessed a significant growth in recent years.

On Monday, Mrs. Irani will attend the opening ceremony of the 3rd Hajj and Umrah Conference organized by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah. The conference will bring together experts, scholars, and officials from various countries to share their experiences and best practices in the management and organization of Hajj and Umrah.

The visit of Mrs. Irani is a reflection of the deepening diplomatic relations and increasing mutual cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia, which are strategic partners and share a common vision of peace and stability in the region and the world. The visit will also reaffirm India’s commitment to the welfare and well-being of its Muslim citizens, who constitute the second largest group of Hajj pilgrims in the world.

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