Damascus: The Syrian media on Tuesday claimed that Saudi Arabia, place of two Muslim holy mosques, Mecca and Medina, has barred Syrians from entering the country to perform the annual Muslim hajj, indicating the tensions between the two Arab nations.
According to official SANA news agency, the Syrian High Committee of hajj has announced to halt the pilgrimage this year, due to a failure to reach consensus with the Saudi authorities.
The Syrian committee “took all necessary steps for the 2012 hajj season, but the relevant ministry in Saudi Arabia did not sign the accord as it does every year,” SANA said.
The hajj to Mecca — the world’s largest annual human assembly — is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all those Muslims who are able to.
A decision to suspend Syrian participation in the holy pilgrimage, which has not yet been confirmed by Saudi Arabia, would be the latest in a string of moves adopted by Riyadh against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia has opposed the Syrian regime led by President Bashar –al-Assad and stressed on the International powers to intervene in the matter.
According to estimates more than 25000 people have been killed since the popular uprising began against the Syrian President.
Syria had also accused the kingdom for providing lethal and financial support to the rebels fighting Syrian forces.