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India and Saudi Arabia sign bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 in Jeddah

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India and Saudi Arabia have signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024, further solidifying their ties and prioritizing the well-being of pilgrims. Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani presided over the signing alongside Saudi Minister of Haj and Umrah Affairs Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah in Jeddah. Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan was also present on the occasion.

The agreement highlights India’s commitment to inclusivity, with discussions exploring ways to encourage women’s participation in Haj without a male guardian (Mehram). It also marks a significant step towards smoother pilgrimage experiences for Indian Muslim pilgrims.

While also promoting inclusivity and mutual respect between the two nations. In a Social Media post Ms Irani said, the Saudi delegation expressed appreciation for India’s digital initiatives, particularly those addressing last-minute pilgrim information needs. She said, both nations acknowledged the importance of enhanced medical facilities for pilgrims’ comprehensive well-being.

Ms. Irani will be attending the opening ceremony of the 3rd Haj and Umrah Conference in Jeddah tomorrow. The delegation is also scheduled to engage with the Indian diaspora and business community in Saudi Arabia, fostering deeper connections. Earlier, the Minister reached Saudi Arabia today on a two-day visit.

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