(MENAFN - Arab News) Interior Minister Prince Ahmed, chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense for the successful completion of the Haj of this year.
"We congratulate you for the distinguished success of the Haj season this year with the blessings of Allah and then with the patronage of my lord Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, with his right guidance and support for all our efforts to provide excellent facilities and services to the guests of the Most Merciful," the prince said.
The prince also greeted the king on the occasion of the Eid Al-Adha on behalf of himself and all the departments participating in the Haj service particularly the staff of security departments, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The prince said the Haj this year was free of any calamities, deaths, or political demonstrations.
He said strong steps would be taken to regulate the train journey system in the holy sites so that no chaos that unexpectedly occurred at an Arafat railway station would occur again.
The prince also thanked all the officials that served the pilgrims under the leadership of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of the Central Haj Committee and the commanders of security forces and government officials for their efforts for the successful completion of the Haj.
The prince also thanked Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb for the cooperation of the ministry in the success of the Haj.
"The Supreme Haj Committee will learn good lessons from the errors that occurred this season. It is natural that some times errors occur. But we thank the Almighty for the occurrence of only a few errors, which we will rectify before the next Haj. During every Haj we learn from past errors and use them to improve the services in the next Haj," the prince said in a statement.
He said the future projects to enhance the comfort and ease of pilgrims include the expansion of the Haram and the mataf (the area of circumambulation around Kaaba.)
Referring to the safety and freedom from accidents during this Haj, the prince said, "In fact, no reports received by me showed any incident of accident worth mentioning during this Haj. The general atmosphere was filled with spirituality. Pilgrims performed their rites at the holy sites and went back to the Grand Mosque safely."
The prince said tasks of the Haj committees do not end with the pilgrims' return from the holy sites. "Service of the pilgrims will continue until the last pilgrim returns to his country safely," the prince said.
Speaking on new facilities planned in the Grand Mosque, the prince said, "The king has approved the constructions in Makkah including the expansion of the Grand Mosque and the mataf. A major problem faced by the pilgrims is the narrowness of the mataf, which causes pushing and shoving," he said.