Iran, Saudi to hold talks on Hajj ceremonies

Iran, Saudi to hold talks on Hajj ceremonies

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:53 pm

File: Muslim pilgrims  in Mecca

File: Muslim pilgrims in Mecca

Iran has received an invitation from Saudi Arabia to discuss preparations for the next annual Hajj pilgrimage, a media report said on Tuesday.

Ali Qazi-Askar, Iran’s representative for Hajj ceremonies noted that Iran has officially received Saudi Arabia’s invitation to meet and hold bilateral talks on the Hajj.

Talks would focus on accommodation, transportation, safety, medical care, visas and banking, he said, adding that Iran would respond to the invitation over the next few days.

After several rounds of meetings in 2016, Tehran and Riyadh failed to reach an agreement on arrangements for the Iranian pilgrims to join the annual ritual in September 2016.

Iran accused Saudi officials of creating obstacles for the Iranian government to send pilgrims to the ceremonies.

Also, Saudi authorities said that the Islamic republic was politicizing the issues related to the religious rituals.

Iranians were among other pilgrims who died in stampede in 2015 Hajj.

In January 2016, Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic ties with Iran following attacks on its mission in the country during angry protests against the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. (Xinhua/NAN)

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