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India and Saudi Arabia Sign Haj Agreement, Allotting Over 175,000 Pilgrim Quota for 2024

India and Saudi Arabia have inked a bilateral agreement that designates New Delhi with a quota of 175,025 pilgrims for the upcoming annual Haj pilgrimage in 2024.

In Jeddah, Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, accompanied by Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan, signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024.

As per an official statement, India’s total Haj quota for 2024 amounts to 175,025 pilgrims, with 140,020 seats allocated for pilgrims through the Haj Committee and 35,005 seats reserved for those opting for private operators.

“Pleased to announce the formalisation of the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 between India and Saudi Arabia. I, along with Hon’ble MoS for External Affairs, Shri @MOS_MEA, presided over the signing. Also engaged in productive discussions on matters of mutual interest with @tfrabiah, Saudi Minister of Haj and Umrah Affairs,” said Irani in a post on X.

She said the Saudi delegation expressed sincere appreciation for India’s exceptional digital initiatives, particularly in providing essential last-mile information to pilgrims. “Our proposal to encourage the participation of women without Mehram in the Haj pilgrimage further underscores our commitment to inclusivity,” she added.

Discussions also encompassed plans for the enhancement of medical facilities, ensuring the comprehensive well-being of all pilgrims, she said. “I deeply value the collaborative spirit exhibited during these deliberations and eagerly anticipate the continued fortification of our bilateral relations.”

During the meeting, India’s digital initiatives in facilitating and promoting ease and convenience for the Haj pilgrims were greatly appreciated by the Saudi side and the Gulf Kingdom offered to extend all possible help, the statement said.

“The initiative of the Government of India towards encouraging participation under the Ladies without Mehram (LWM) category was discussed, deeply appreciated and lauded,” it added.

Irani and Muraleedharan later visited the Haj Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, to oversee the arrangements for pilgrims and explore ways to facilitate better logistics and monitoring mechanisms for their convenience.

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