Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Arab Unanimity against Iran’s Politicization Of Hajj, Baghdad Stands out | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55358049

A young boy scares away pigeons as Muslim pilgrims walk in a street in Saudi Arabia’s holy Muslim city of Mecca on September 8, 2016. AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

Cairo-An extraordinary consultative meeting held by Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Thursday ended with a statement supported by all Arab countries, expect for Iraq, in which the ministers condemned Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s hostile verbal attack against Saudi Arabia and its leaders to politicize the Hajj pilgrimage.

The statement condemned the abusive and disgraceful statements uttered by an Islamic leader whose comments were not consistent with the reality on the ground and the great efforts being exerted by the Saudi government under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud towards Islam and Muslims as well as pilgrims.

The Arab ministers said Saudi Arabia’s projects should be “worthy of praise, appreciation and gratitude, not slander and discredit.”

The ministers reiterated that the Saudi government was the only competent authority to organize the Hajj, serve the pilgrims and ensure their comfort and security to perform their rituals with ease and tranquility without any outside interference.

The Arab Ministerial Council said it absolutely rejects the use of the ordinances of Islam to stir up sectarian strife to achieve political goals, especially during the Hajj season.

It added: “The accusations, allegations and tendentious campaigns being carried out by Iran fully contradict the values and principles of Islam… and don’t serve a constructive relationship among Islamic countries.”

A dispute emerged between Riyadh and Tehran after Iran’s supreme leader attacked Saudi Arabia’s management of the Hajj pilgrimage.

During the Arab meeting, Saudi Ambassador to Egypt and the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Ahmed Abdulaziz Qattan described Khamenei’s statements as a “sectarian disgrace.”

The ambassador said that Saudi Arabia could have replied to the hostile comments of “the so-called supreme leader of Iran.” However, he said, the Kingdom respects the ethics of Islam and refuses to use such rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Arab Parliament Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan said Saudi Arabia had offered Iran several invitations but that Tehran decided to carry out its crabby sectarian plan.