22 Aug 2017 - 14:32
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.
23 Aug 2017 - 12:23
The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is still waiting for any response from the Ministry of Haj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia to complete the procedures concerning the pilgrims of Qatar, as is the case between the two countries in the past.
Most of the companies organising Haj campaignin Qatar strongly believe that the Saudi Ministry of Haj is deliberately blocking the arrival of 2,000 Qatari pilgrims as August 26 Saturday is the deadline for pilgrims going by air.
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. The two sides signed an agreement for this year on 21/2/2017.
The terms of this agreement included the regulations for Qatar’s pilgrims in terms of land and air transport, accommodation, the number of pilgrims, the use of electronic route and the issuance of permits for Haj and visas for residents, an official source at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry has contacted the competent authorities in the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia to know about the arrangements concerning the Qatari pilgrims in the current situation. However, they did not find any cooperation or positive response from the Ministry of Haj which has led to confusion and suspension of the regulatory process for Qatar’s pilgrims, where the campaigners accredited in the State were not able to carry out their duties towards the citizens wishing to perform Haj this year, the official source noted.
Based on the State’s keenness on the Qatari pilgrims’ safety and on providing them all the amenities during Haj, the absence of any diplomatic or official representation of Qatar in Saudi Arabia to observe the affairs of Qatari pilgrims, in addition to what Qatari pilgrims faced in Makkah on 5/6/2017 of harassment and forcing to leave them from Saudi and in light of the current situation, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs remains concerned and fearful that Qatari pilgrims may face any inconvenience.