Saudi raises India’s Hajj quota to 200,000

NEW DELHI: Muslims will be able to perform Hajj this year with more thirty thousand after Saudi Arabia agreed to increase India’s quota for the pilgrimage from 170,000 to 200,000 annually.

The issue of India’s Hajj quota discussed following a bilateral talks between the leaders of both the countries at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday.

A record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslim pilgrims will have the opportunity to go for Hajj from this year, Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

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According to Gokhale, the issue was discussed during the talks that also covered deepening cooperation in trade and investment, energy security and counter-terrorism.

Mr. Gokhale said, “Crown Prince had (earlier) promised PM that Haj quota (for Indians) would be raised from 1.7 lakh to two lakh annually, this is important. This has been done. In the Haj that will begin very shortly, two lakh Indians will have the opportunity to go for Haj. Crown Prince invited PM to be one of the main guests at an international conference later this year and PM has accepted the invitation with pleasure,” reported Asianage.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar described Saudi Arabia as “an invaluable strategic partner” in a tweet about Mr Modi’s meeting with Crown Prince at the summit venue.

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