The Director of the Syrian Hajj, Samer Bayrakdar, has denied reports suggesting that the Saudi Arabian government had handed over the management of the Syrian Hajj file to the Assad regime. He emphasized that the Syrian Supreme Hajj Committee had been managing the Syrian Hajj file since 2013 and continues to serve Syrian pilgrims.
Bayrakdar informed the Arabi 21 news website that the Supreme Hajj Committee had started the process of paying the first installment of the Hajj pilgrimage cost for those who were accepted in the current Hajj season after signing all contracts with the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia and its affiliated institutions.
He further explained that the Committee’s offices had received 43,000 applications from wishing pilgrims, and that 22,500 applications were accepted, which is Syria’s quota for this season.
Bayraktar clarified that the Hajj Committee had acted impartially since it had taken on this file and had not differentiated between any of the components of the Syrian people. He warned that more than half of the Syrian people would be deprived of performing the rituals of Hajj if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia handed over this file to the regime.
Bayrakdar also denied that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had put any obstacles to accepting Syrian pilgrims. He added that travel visas have certain requirements, and the Supreme Hajj Committee was working to meet these requirements. He stated that the Syrian consulates would begin to issue visas about a month after Ramadan. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)