Saudi Arabia welcomes Qatari pilgrims

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it would welcome Qatari pilgrims to Mecca to perform the Hajj this season, amidst a feud that has triggered tensions between the two nations since June.

The Salwa border point would be open for Qatari citizens who wish to perform the annual pilgrimage to pass through with no electronic permissions needed, a statement on the Saudi Press Agency said.

Riyadh along with the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain imposed sanctions on Qatar in June and cut all transport links with the country. The four boycotting Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism.

The Saudi Press Agency statement said Qataris wishing to perform the Hajj would also be welcome through two of the Kingdom’s airports. The announcement came after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani.

Qatar accused the Saudis of politicising Hajj and addressed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion last month, expressing concern about obstacles facing Qataris who want to attend Hajj this year.


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