By: Agence France-Presse
A row between Gulf states Qatar and Saudi Arabia over the transport of hajj pilgrims to Mecca escalated on Monday as Doha denounced present preparations as “illogical”.
A strongly worded assertion from Doha’s international ministry mentioned it was shocked that Riyadh had determined to limit the transport of pilgrims from Qatar to Saudi Arabian Airlines solely.
“Limiting the transfer of Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabian Airlines only is unprecedented, illogical, surprising and contravenes the teachings of Islam,” mentioned the assertion from the ministry’s data workplace director, Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Rumaihi.
It was the second assertion of the day from Qatar on an more and more contentious challenge.
Earlier, Doha had denied a declare from Saudi Arabian Airlines accusing Qatari authorities of refusing to permit one in all its flights to land at Hamad International Airport.
An official source within the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority mentioned the declare was “baseless”, in response to a report carried on the state-run QNA information company.
The Saudi accusation of the flight being blocked was made on Sunday.
“Qatari authorities have not allowed the aircraft to land as it did not have the right paperwork, although the paperwork was filed days ago,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency mentioned.
Qatar mentioned the paperwork had been filed to the improper ministry.
The flight is one in all a choose few that can enable Qataris to land in Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh determined final week to quickly reopen its borders to pilgrims from the emirate.
That determination got here greater than two months right into a diplomatic disaster that has seen Saudi Arabia minimize all ties and shut its border with Qatar.
The hajj to Mecca, probably the most revered website in Islam, is a pilgrimage that Muslims should carry out not less than as soon as.
This yr’s hajj at the beginning of September is predicted to attract some two million Muslims from around the globe.
The pilgrimage has become the newest entrance in an ongoing diplomatic disaster that has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies minimize all ties with Doha over accusations of state help for Islamist extremist teams and shut ties to Shiite Iran.
Qatar denies the allegations.
Saudi Arabia has mentioned Qatari pilgrims could be allowed to enter the dominion for this yr’s hajj however imposed a number of journey restrictions, together with flying in solely on airways permitted by Riyadh.
The transfer sparked a backlash in Doha, the place authorities mentioned the pilgrimage had been used as political ammunition.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and commerce ties with Qatar on June 5 in what has turn out to be the worst political disaster to grip the Gulf area in many years.(AFP)