Syrian opposition to name hajis

Tuesday 11 June 2013

The Kingdom has decided to give Syria’s opposition National Coalition the right to process applications of Syrians wishing to perform Haj to Makkah, an official said yesterday.

The Kingdom handled last year’s Haj visa applications without cooperating with Damascus.

But Riyadh has now decided that the opposition council is “entitled to issue Haj permits for the Syrians,” Haj Ministry spokesman Hatem Qadi told AFP.

He said Saudi authorities took the decision after a coalition delegation visited the Haj Ministry.

Pilgrims in Mina during Hajj 2012

This year’s pilgrimage falls in October. The move shows the Kingdom’s eagerness to give further legitimacy to Syria’s opposition. Last year, King Abdullah ordered consulates in countries neighboring Syria to facilitate visas for Syrians wishing to perform Haj.

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