Nasarawa State pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia - Amirul Hajj

Posted August 25, 2017

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor urged the European Union Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion outside the Union, Jan Figel, to call on Saudi Arabia to stop conditions and restrictions it has imposed for the arrival of Qatari pilgrims to its territory to perform Haj this year.

Pilgrims who underwent the POC phase would go through immigration clearance by Saudi Arabia Immigration officers before boarding their flight in KLIA, he said.

The strongly worded statement came as Saudi Arabia said Qatari pilgrims could travel to the kingdom to perform Haj only by taking Saudi airlines.

An official source in the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority on Monday "described as baseless the news. that allegedly claimed that the state of Qatar refused to allow Saudi Airlines to transport the Qatari pilgrims", according to a report carried on the state-run QNA news agency.

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Qatar has denied the allegations.

"It is usual and customary for pilgrims to be transported from any country by means of national air, land and sea transportation in that country", said Ahmed al-Rumaihi, information director at Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Last week, Riyadh announced that it would open its borders with Qatar to allow Muslim pilgrims' access to Mecca to observe their Hajj rituals.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5 in what has become the worst political crisis to grip the Gulf region in decades.