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Saudi Arabia to open Salwa border point to Qatari pilgrims for hajj

August 17, 2017 at 2:14 am

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

A statement on the official Saudi Press Agency said 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.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed sanctions on fellow US ally Qatar in June and cut all transport links with the country. The four boycotting Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge which Doha denies.

Read: Qatar condemns ‘false’ Saudi news regarding Hajj

The statement, which also said Qataris wishing to perform the hajj would be welcome through two of the Kingdom’s airports, came after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani.

Qatar accused the Saudis of politicizing 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.

Hajj pilgrims are seen departing for Saudi Arabia