CAIRO(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it would welcome Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform the haj this season, amidst a feud that has triggered tensions between the two nations since June.
A statement on the official Saudi Press Agency said the Salwa border point would be open for Qatari citizens who wish to perform the annual pilgrimage to pass through with no electronic permissions needed.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed sanctions on fellow U.S. ally Qatar in June and cut all transport links with the country. The four boycotting Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge which Doha denies.
The statement, which also said Qataris wishing to perform the haj would be welcome through two of the Kingdom’s airports, came after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani.
Qatar accused the Saudis of politicizing haj and addressed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion last month, expressing concern about obstacles facing Qataris who want to attend haj this year.
Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Wriiting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by James Dalgleish