M’sia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen for umrah

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow a 10-day visit for foreigners to perform their umrah in Mecca.

In a joint statement issued by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, it stated the two ministries would cooperate to ensure Malaysian pilgrims get to perform their umrah despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The government will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and study the standard operating procedure for the pilgrimage as set by the Saudi Arabian government.

“The Malaysian government will do its best for the people especially for those departing to the Holy Land.

“The priority is on the safety and health of these pilgrims, ” the statement read.

“The Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Religious Affairs will also get the advice of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry on these matters, ” it added.

Two days ago, Saudi Arabia decided to reopen its doors to foreign pilgrims for the year-round umrah, beginning this Sunday, after a seven-month suspension due to the pandemic.

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