Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, but that Doha was blocking access for its citizens. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 17 July 2019

Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom
  • Statement said the delegation from Doha left meeting without signing any agreement
  • Statement also rejected Qatari claims the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, adding that the Qatari government was blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a meeting of the ministry and a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country coming into the Kingdom, a statement said the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreement to enable access for it citizens.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said the Kingdom welcomed Qatari worshippers completing their applications once they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said during the meeting it had called on the relevant authorities in Qatar to allow pilgrims to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and that Saudi Arabia was “keen to enable Qatari residents to perform religious rituals.”

A statement from the ministry rejected claims by Qatari officials that Saudi Arabia was putting obstacles in the way of worshippers from Qatar, adding that it had facilitated "several electronic portals" for Qatari citizens to book their places.

The statement also rejected Qatari claims that the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” the Hajj season.