Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal. (Photo: Reuters)
Senior Saudi royal, Prince Turki al-Faisal, says the oversight and management of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage is "a matter of sovereignty" and "privilege" and will not be shared with other nations.
The pilgrimage, which ended less than three weeks ago, was marred by a disaster just outside Mecca that killed more than 1,400 pilgrims when two crowds converged down a narrow street, according to an Associated Press count based on official statements from nations whose citizens died.
Top Iranian officials have accused Saudi Arabia of mismanagement and are calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to manage the hajj.
The prince spoke to The Associated Press in an interview Sunday during a visit to Abu Dhabi.