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Last Updated Thursday January 18 2018 07:01 PM IST

Saudi Arabia to open border to Qatari pilgrims

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Saudi Arabia to open border to Qatar pilgrims, Qatar media silent

Cairo: Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday said it would welcome Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform the haj this season, amidst a feud that severed transport links 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.

The statement, which also said Qatari pilgrims would also 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.

A Qatari spokesman had no immediate comment on the opening of the border for haj but said Sheikh Abdullah does not hold a position in the Qatari government.

Qatari media did not immediately carry the Saudi report.

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

Qatar accused the Saudis of politicizing haj and addressed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion last month, expressing concern about obstacles facing Qataris who want to attend haj this year.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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