Nasarawa pilgrims touch down in Saudi Arabia

Pauline Gross
August 23, 2017

A strongly worded statement from Doha's foreign ministry said it was surprised that Riyadh had chose to restrict the transport of pilgrims from Qatar to Saudi Arabian Airlines only.

It was the second statement of the day from Qatar on an increasingly contentious issue. "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", it added.

"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 said.

Explaining the current situation, the source said: "The organisation of Haj affairs is subject to an annual agreement concluded between Qatar's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and the Ministry of Haj and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

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The Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, had recently announced that 79,000 intending Pilgrims were going to perform this year's Hajj.

"Saudi Arabia should lift the embargo on the State of Qatar without restriction and enable".

Riyadh said last week it would aid the travel of Qataris to haj in a move initially welcomed by Doha, but Saudi Arabia complained on Sunday that its planes had yet to receive landing permits for the rite beginning at the end of August.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.

Other reports by GizPress

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