By: Agence France-Presse
Qatar has blocked Saudi planes from transporting hajj pilgrims, Saudi state media mentioned Sunday, after Riyadh reopened the border regardless of a serious diplomatic disaster roiling the Gulf.
Riyadh final week reopened its land border with Qatar and allotted seven flights of the Saudi national provider to deliver pilgrims from Doha, in a short lived lifting of a weeks-long boycott of its Gulf neighbour.
“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.
“Saudi Arabian Airlines director general Saleh al-Jasser has said that the airline has thus far been unable to schedule flights to transport Qatari pilgrims from Hamad International Airport in Doha,” SPA added.
The reopening of the border initially sparked hope of a thawing within the Gulf disaster, which noticed Saudi Arabia and its allies minimize diplomatic ties with Doha in June over accusations that the emirate supported Islamist extremists.
Qatar has denied the allegation.
But at the same time as Doha cautiously welcomed the reopening of the border, it blasted the transfer as “politically motivated”.
Doha has additionally accused Riyadh of jeopardising the pilgrimage to Mecca by refusing to ensure the protection of Qatari residents.
Its delay — or refusal — to grant touchdown rights to Saudi planes may now additional stoke tensions.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and commerce ties with Qatar on June 5 in what has change into the worst political disaster to grip the Gulf area in many years.
Saudi Arabia final month mentioned Qatari pilgrims could be allowed to enter the dominion for hajj this yr however imposed a number of journey restrictions, together with flying in solely on airways permitted by Riyadh.
The hajj, a pillar of Islam that succesful Muslims should carry out at the very least as soon as, is to happen this yr in the beginning of September and it’s anticipated to attract round two million Muslims from all over the world.(AFP)