Saudi asks Qatar to remove obstacles and facilitate arrivals of pilgrims

Saudi asks Qatar to remove obstacles and facilitate arrivals of pilgrims
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Published: 15 July 2019 - 1:30 p.m.
By: Priyanka Praveen
Authorities of Saudi’s Haj and Umrah ministry have asked Qatar to facilitate the arrivals of Qatari pilgrims to the Kingdom.

In a statement online, officials from the ministry said: “The Ministry of Haj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has called on the concerned authorities in Qatar to facilitate the arrival of Qatari brothers wishing to perform Hajj rituals and to remove obstacles imposed by the Government of Qatar to prevent them from coming to perform this ritual."

Officials also rejected allegations made by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs that the government of Saudi Arabia is obstructing pilgrims from Qatar who wish to visit the holy sites to perform Haj and Umrah.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), officials said, “The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has launched several electronic links to enable Qataris and residents of Qatar to book their places of residence, contract services, and come across non-Qatari airlines to perform their duties. Once, and in return the Qatari government blocked these links for Qataris and Muslim citizens residing in Qatar."

Officials also revealed that they had invited Qatari officials to discuss matters related to the haj and umrah, but “the Qatari delegation left without signing the Haj agreement, and therefore the Qatari authorities did not give Haj companies the opportunity to agree with the providers of Haj services in the Kingdom,” the report read.

The Ministry also called on Qatar to not politicise the pilgrimage. According to SPA: “The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Qatar should enable Qatari pilgrims and pilgrims to come to perform rituals through all international airlines except Qatar Airways, and not to prevent them, and help them perform Haj and Umrah without being involved in political matters.”

The UAE backed Saudi, when the country’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash defended the actions that Saudi Arabia took to ensure that Qatari pilgrims will be able to enter the Kingdom for the upcoming Haj season.

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