No Qatari Pilgrims for Second Year, Exchange of Accusations between Doha & Riyadh
2018-08-07 - 11:47 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Qatari pilgrims' crisis emerged once again in the current Hajj season, amid diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar for more than a year, while the two countries exchanged accusations of intransigence towards allowing Qatari pilgrims to travel.
No Qataris went to Hajj last year, which was the first year of the blockade imposed on Doha by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
Khalid Al-Faisal, governor of Mecca and head of the central pilgrimage committee, said that "no pilgrims from Qatar" have arrived in Saudi Arabia, noting that the number of pilgrims who arrived in the kingdom from around the world reached 558 thousand pilgrims,
The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has said in a statement that they were in contact recently with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and discussed the challenges that the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar face. The Ministry called on the designated authorities in Saudi Arabia to eliminate all the obstacles, adding that this was yet to happen.
Qatar's Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs has also stressed that in fact all the challenges such as the close border crossing, Qatari citizens and residents seeking Hajj who cannot travel by plane remain.
The Ministry added that there were no planes transferring people going to Hajj from Doha to Jeddah, as is the case in all neighbouring countries. It also noted that there was no clear mechanism for gaining a Hajj visa for residents of the State of Qatar.
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