Several media outlets have published that Iraqi pilgrims are stranded in King Abdul Aziz airport in Saudi Arabia and that there are no airplanes to return them to Baghdad and stated that they have been in this situation for a long period of time without any solution. They appealed to the Iraqi government to help them, and to provide an aircraft to bring them back to Baghdad.
Immediately after receiving this information, Foreign Minister Mohamad A. Alhakim sent a delegation to the airport as quickly as possible to address the situation. A delegation from the Iraqi Consulate General went to clarify the issue and provide urgent assistance to the Iraqi pilgrims. The plane was delayed for a few hours and this problem has been addressed, and now pilgrims have arrived safely to the country.
We would also like to point out that the number of pilgrims who are estimated to be 20,000 is very exaggerated as soon as the consular delegation went to the airport the number of passengers were 202, and they are the focus of our attention, and we are working hard to provide them comforts, and to ensure their performance of Umrah without any delay or obstacles.
Foreign Ministry Official Spokesman
Dr. Ahmed Al-Sahaf