Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh sign deals on security and pilgrims
Saudi Arabia has signed a security deal with Bangladesh to tackle drugs and human trafficking and confirmed a streamlined pilgrimage system after a successful pilot period.
The agreements were reached during Deputy Interior Minister Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al-Dawood’s visit to Dhaka.
Bangladesh’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Javed Patwary, told Arab News that the security deal covered training, efforts to curb drug and human trafficking, as well as cybercrime and other multinational crimes. The deal will also boost exchange visits between the country’s two security forces.
The Kingdom also made the trial Makkah Route pilgrimage system permanent in an effort to ease the Saudi immigration process for those departing for Hajj.
“Under the Makkah Route initiative, Hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh will enjoy a one-stop pre-immigration facility at the airport before their departure. It will ease the pilgrims’ journey to the Kingdom for performing the Hajj,” Patwary added.
Bangladesh is among five Muslim-majority countries — including Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Morocco — where Saudi Arabia operates its Makkah Route initiative.
The pilot program was launched in 2019 to allow pilgrims to fulfill all visa, customs and health requirements at the airport of origin before their departure, with the aim of cutting hours of waiting before and upon reaching the Kingdom.
Al-Dawood was received by Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen on Saturday and signed both the agreements on Sunday with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.