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Taiwan to assist Taiwanese Muslims on Hajj to Mecca

2017/08/03 21:03:10

Picture taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) Taiwan's representative office in Saudi Arabia will dispatch officials to help Taiwanese Muslims during the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, despite the "temporary closure" of its representative office in Jeddah a week ago, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said on Thursday.

Taipei suspended operations at its representative office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 27 and will do the same at two other overseas offices later, according to a press release from the ministry on July 27.

All work done by the Jeddah office has been taken over by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the capital city of Riyadh, Chen Chun-shen (陳俊賢), director-general of MOFA's department of West Asian and African Affairs, said in a regular press conference in Taipei.

In addition, the Representative Office will occasionally dispatch people to Jeddah and Taif in western Saudi Arabia to offer consular affairs services.

Jeddah is a coastal city by the Red Sea about 70 kilometers west of Mecca, while Riyadh is located 900 km northeast of Mecca. This year's annual pilgrimage to the holy city will start on Aug. 30 and end on Sept. 4.

The operations of the three overseas offices have been or will be "suspended," but they are not officially "closed," and operations may be resumed if necessary, a MOFA official said on July 27.

(By Scarlette Chai and CNA intern Ting Wei-shih)