By Garba Muhammad in Makkah
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul-aziz has on Monday hosted his special guests comprising 10 selected foreign journalists, foreign envoys and heads of Hajj delegations from 130 countries to a reception in honor of Hajj 2019 .
In a brief remark at the reception that took place at the Banquet hall of the Royal Palace, Mina, the monarch expressed gratitude to Allah for choosing Saudi Arabia to be the home of Islam’s holiest sites.
” I welcome you all from the vicinity of the two holy mosque of Allah. I congratulate you and thank you for your selfless service to the guest of Allah.
“May Allah return you safely to your various countries and have an acceptable hajj by Allah,” the King said.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Sale Bin Taher Bente said world intellectuals in the area of sports, media, technology and social services are hosted by the King to perform the 2019 Hajj.
He said the Kingdom also hosted thousands of individuals and families of martyrs in New Zealand, Palestine and other parts of the world.
He said over 2.5 pilgrims from 130 countries of the world stood at Arafat on Saturday.
He said the directive by the custodian of the two holy mosques for the ease of issue of electronic visa without necessarily visiting the embassies abroad has made the religious journey much easier for pilgrims.
The minister added that the King had also inaugurated the Haramain railway line from Makkah to Madina and has personally traveled in the train.
“I congratulate you all and may it recall to you that Allah has honored the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“I also congratulate all our pilgrims for the stand at Arafat and wish you all the special guests of King Salman, the custodian of the two Holy mosques fruitful completion of Hajj rites and a safe trip back to your countries，” Mr Bente said.
The guests were treated to a royal handshake and special royal meal at the Palace.
Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chairman/CEO National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Barr. Abdullah Mukhtar Mohammed was also in attendance.
The chairman exchanged pleasantries with some special guests in the foreign media from Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Mauritania and one of the two journalists representing Nigeria.
Garba Muhammad and Hafsat Abubakar form Independent Hajj Reporters and Daily Trust respectively, represented Nigerian media.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said Monday that those performi…