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Qatar denies preventing citizens from performing Umrah, Hajj in Saudi Arabia

June 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm

The Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has denied claims that Doha is not allowing its citizens and residents from performing the Islamic rituals of Umrah and Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the Qatar News Agency reported.

The ministry issued a statement in which it expressed great surprise at comments made by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah regarding the rights of Qatari citizens and residents to practice Islamic rituals in the Holy Land, saying the Kingdom’s statement did not offer anything new to resolve the obstacles put before Qatari Muslims since 2017.

The Qatari ministry statement stressed that Saudi Arabia continues to put obstacles and arbitrary measures on those living in Qatar.

Timeline: The Gulf rift

According to the statement, the land route between Qatar and Saudi Arabia is still completely closed and there is no direct route between Doha and the Saudi city of Jeddah which causes elderly pilgrims and the sick more hardship.

The Qatari ministry has reiterated its calls on the Saudi authorities to exclude religious rituals from political disputes.

On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.

The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, under the threat of further sanctions.

Qatar has refused to submit, denying charges that it supports terrorism and describing the bloc’s efforts to isolate it as a violation of international law and an infringement of its national sovereignty.