India, SA sign bilateral Haj agreement; KP officer plays key role

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New Delhi: India and Saudi Arabia signed a bilateral Haj agreement 2024.

Union Minister for WCD and  Minority Affairs Smriti Irani and MoS MEA V. Muraleedharan presided over the signing.

Joint Secretary Minority Affairs Nirupama Kotru accompanied Smriti Irani in Saudi Arabia. She is a Kashmiri Pandit.

 “Pleased to announce the formalization of bilateral Haj agreement 2024 between India and Saudi Arabia. I and 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 wrote 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. Discussions also encompassed plans for enhancing 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,” Irani added.   

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