New Delhi, Jan 08: India and Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed a bilateral agreement under which New Delhi has been allocated a quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims for the annual Haj pilgrimage in 2024.
Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 with Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan in Jeddah.
According to an official statement, a total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been finalised for Haj 2024 with 1,40,020 seats being reserved for pilgrims to proceed through Haj Committee whereas 35,005 pilgrims would be permitted to proceed through 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,” Irani said in a post on X.
“Productive discussions today with Prof. @DIBAliErbas, President of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Türkiye. Explored avenues for shared growth and stronger India-Türkiye bilateral ties, while exchanging insights on Haj management and adoption of best practices for enhanced pilgrimage experience,” Irani said in another post.
Irani earlier on Sunday arrived here on a two-day visit. She was received at the Jeddah Airport by Ambassador Dr Suhel Khan, Consul General Mohd Shahid and officials of the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah.
Irani, also serving as the Union Minister for Women & Child Development, will also meet the Indian business community and Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia. On Monday, Irani will attend the opening ceremony of the 3rd Edition of ‘Haj and Umrah Conference’ in Jeddah being organised by the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah Affairs. The Indo-Saudi partnership has deepened in recent years, marked by sustained engagement across various sectors. The visit will further strengthen the strategic partnership placing Haj as a vital dimension in this relationship, the statement said.