Limiting Hajj pilgrims only to Saudi planes is unprecedented and illogical: Qatar
22 Aug 2017 - 14:32
Muslim pilgrims gather to circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on August 22, 2017. F?rat Yurdakul - Anadolu Agency
The Foreign Ministry has expressed its surprise at the announcement by Saudi Arabia to limit the transfer of Qatari pilgrims only to Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The Foreign Ministry’s Information Office Director, Ambassador Ahmed bin Saeed Al Rumaihi said in a statement yesterday that limiting the transfer of Qatari pilgrims only to Saudi Arabian Airlines is unprecedented, illogical, surprising and contravenes the teachings of Islam, which urge the facilitation of performing this duty to all Muslims.
Al Rumaihi noted that it is usual and customary for pilgrims from any country to be transported by national air, land and sea transportation in that country, in addition to other foreign means of transportation, with this taking place as part of the national mission of Haj. He pointed out that previous cases of severing diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and other countries did not see an imposition of transferring pilgrims of those countries on Saudi Arabian Airlines.
As for allowing Saudi Arabian Airlines to transfer Qatari pilgrims, the Information Office director reiterated the Civil Aviation Authority’s statement on August 20 that coordination is to be effected in this regard through the Haj mission, according to previous regulations so as to preserve the safety and security of Qatari pilgrims. He stressed that Qatar and Qatari pilgrims don’t need aid in terms of covering the cost of Haj and portraying it as a charity, because charity has beneficiaries who need it more than Qatari pilgrims.
He added that facilitating the performance of Haj would be through an unconditional lifting of the siege on Qatar, which would go in line with the nature of this rite and comply with the teachings of Islam and international conventions; enabling the Qatari Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs to steer the Qatari Haj mission; and transporting Qatari pilgrims in the airline of their choice — Qatar Airways or other carriers.