13:57 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Pilgrims during hajj stand for prayer around the Kaaba at the Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. (File)

    Saudi Arabia Bars Syrians From Making Hajj Pilgrimage - Ministry

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    Middle East
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - Saudi Arabia prevents Syrians from going on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca for the seventh year in a row by imposing conditions that cannot be fulfilled, the Syrian Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) said on Thursday.

    Saudi Arabia establishes a quota of potential pilgrims, who can visit the holy places of Islam located on the territory of the state, for every country depending on population. For pilgrims, visiting Mecca, a special type of visa is needed.

    "Saudi authorities for the seventh consecutive year do not allow the Syrian citizens to perform a pilgrim ritual of Hajj. The conditions of the pilgrimage cannot be fulfilled because of the politicization of Hajj by Saudi authorities despite multiple contacts between the [Saudi] Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs and the Syrian Foreign Ministry," the ministry said, not specifying the conditions set out by Riyadh.

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    According to the statement, the tourist agencies located in Lebanon, which is the neighbor of Syria, do not contribute to the settlement of the situation but do utmost to secure profit.

    The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, a town in Saudi Arabia, is one of the most important traditions of Islam. In 2018, Hajj will take place on August 19-24.

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    Hajj, Mecca, Syria, Saudi Arabia
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