OSAKA: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Jun 28) expressed his hope that more Singaporean Muslims will be allowed to perform the annual haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in a meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Singapore's official haj quota was increased to 800 in 2017 , six years after Singapore requested an increase from the previous 680 places. It was increased to 900 last year.
PM Lee met the crown prince on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. He raised the quota issue following Prince Salman's briefing on Saudi Arabia’s drive to boost tourism.
The two leaders discussed ways to elevate bilateral relations and deepen cooperation across a range of issues. Mr Lee also reiterated his invitation to Prince Salman to visit Singapore, a spokesperson from the Prime Minister's Office said.
Mr Lee also thanked the crown prince for the warm hospitality extended to then-Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who visited Saudi Arabia in January this year.
In updating Mr Lee on Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, Prince Salman said that Singapore companies are well-placed to participate in the opportunities presented in the areas such as tourism, finance and petrochemicals.
The leaders also exchanged views on how Singapore can contribute to Saudi Arabia’s upcoming G20 Presidency in 2020.