The British ambassador to Saudi Arabia announced on Twitter that he converted to Islam and carried out a hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, The Telegraph reported.
أول سفير بريطاني للمملكة يؤدي فريضة الحج بعد اسلامه:سيمون كوليز مع زوجته السيدة هدي في مكة. الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/Gk3323d3ce— فوزية البكر (@fawziah1) September 12, 2016
Simon Collis, the 60-year-old diplomat, reportedly converted in 2011 but his conversion was known to only a few in his inner circle.
He's believed to be Britain's first senior ambassador to carry out the pilgrimage although others have converted to Islam.
“God bless you. In brief: I converted to Islam after 30 years of living in Muslim societies and before marrying Huda,” his wife, he wrote on Twitter. The Telegraph reported that the Foreign Office declined to comment, calling his religion a personal matter.
Collis has extensive experience in the region, having served as an ambassador to Syria and Iraq. He reportedly moved to Riyadh in 2015. Collis also served as an envoy to Doha, Qatar.
An estimated 1.8 million people completed the hajj pilgrimage this year.