BAGHDAD, Iraq and Saudi Arabia inaugurated the Ar'ar border crossing on Tuesday to cross the first batch of pilgrims in the presence of the head of the Supreme Hajj and Umrah Authority Sheikh Khalid al-Attiyah and Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz al-Shammari.

"Attiyah and the Saudi ambassador attended the farewell for the first batch of 1880 pilgrims from the provinces of Diyala, Wasit, Diwaniyah, Muthanna and Anbar," Haj Authority's spokesman Hassan Fahad al-Kanani said in a statement.

"The first batch includes 20 convoys with 80 buses, each convoy includes two contractors, one assistant and two religious guides," he said.

"The port of Ar'ar will be opened to the pilgrims next year, which will contribute to the departure of many Iraqi pilgrims by land to the Holy Land," he said.

The head of the Higher Committee for Hajj and Umrah Sheikh Khalid Al-Attiyah expressed thanks to the armed forces from the Ministries of Defense and Interior, the Popular Mobilization, Army Air Force and other formations, as well as the civil services, Sunni and Shiite Waqf and Karbala and Anbar provinces for their fruitful efforts in supporting the work of the Authority.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

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