Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Saudi king orders Qatar border be reopened for hajj pilgrims

Saudi king orders Qatar border be reopened for hajj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has opened doors for Qatari pilgrims to come and perform Hajj in Mecca as per the media of Saudi Arabia.

The announcement comes after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a member of the Qatari royal family, Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani.

Saudi Arabia last month said Qatari pilgrims would be allowed to enter the kingdom for hajj this year but imposed clear restrictions, including flying via airlines approved by Riyadh.

"The decision of the anti-terrorism states to boycott Qatar included banning Qatari planes from crossing their airspaces", the video's narrator said in Arabic.

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported that around 50 Qatari pilgrims had entered Saudi territory on Thursday through the Salwa crossing.

The sanctions closed Saudi Arabia's land border with Qatar and also ended direct shipping links between Doha and Dubai's Jebel Ali port, the region's main trans-shipment centre.

The four nations also have accused Qatar of complicating the Hajj - the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca - for its citizens.

Qatar is telling its banks to tap worldwide investors to raise financing, instead of mainly relying on government funding, people familiar with the matter said, as the impact of the ongoing Saudi-led boycott puts pressure on liquidity.

"The government of Qatar welcomes the decision and will respond positively", said Qatar's foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

The Saudi king on Wednesday ordered that Qatari pilgrims be allowed in as his guests.

Meanwhile, a Qatari semi-government rights body gave a cautious welcome to the Saudi move, according to agencies.

Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan said all sectors under the Kingdom's transport system have been geared up to materialize the royal directives in serving the Qatari pilgrims.

Between two million and three million Muslims from around the world travel to Islam's holiest city for the pilgrimage each year.

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