IQNA

9:31 - July 14, 2019
News ID: 3468949
TEHRAN (IQNA) –  Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, claiming that the Qatari government was blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

 

Following a meeting of the ministry and a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country coming into the Kingdom, a statement said the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreement to enable access for it citizens.

The statement said the Kingdom welcomed Qatari worshippers completing their applications once they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said during the meeting it had called on the relevant authorities in Qatar to allow pilgrims to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and that Saudi Arabia was “keen to enable Qatari residents to perform religious rituals.”

A statement from the ministry rejected claims by Qatari officials that Saudi Arabia was putting obstacles in the way of worshippers from Qatar, adding that it had facilitated "several electronic portals" for Qatari citizens to book their places.

The statement also rejected Qatari claims that the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” the Hajj season, Arab News reported.

The two countries are embroiled in a diplomatic dispute since June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.”

The administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations as well.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.

Addressing world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2018, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani censured the ongoing Saudi-led diplomatic and trade boycott against his energy-rich Persian Gulf kingdom, describing the move as a flagrant violation of the international law.

Sheikh Tamim said the blockade is "paralyzing" Arab nations and has only caused "our region to remain hostage to marginal differences" and emphasized that Doha remains open to "unconditional dialogue."

Later that month, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Al Jazeera television network and downgrade of relations with Iran, in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations with Doha.

The document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement. Qatar rejected the demands as "unreasonable."

Tags: IQNA ، Hajj ، Qatar ، Saudi
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