Saudi-Qatar Land Border Opens

Posted August 22, 2017

But Saleh al-Jasser, the general manger of Saudi Arabian Airlines, was quoted by Saudi state TV as saying Qatari authorities have not authorized the kingdom's aircraft to land in the capital, despite a request submitted several days ago to transport Qatari pilgrims from Hamad International Airport in Doha.

Saudi Airlines had asked Qatari authorities for permission for their flights to transport Qatari pilgrims, which were scheduled after mediation between Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani. Now, the Salwa border point will be open for Qatari pilgrims to pass through "without electronic permits".

According to the newspaper, the Saudi airline prepared seven Boeing 777-300 passenger planes with seating capacity for 300 people, although usually up to 1,600 Qatari pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage.

An ongoing blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt on June 5 included a ban on Qatar using the bloc's ports and airspace.

The Saudi monarch also instructed that planes of the Saudi Airline be sent to Qatar to carry Qataris wishing to perform the Hajj.

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"These claims are coming from the official media in Saudi".

NAN reports that the transportation of intending pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, for the 2017 Hajj, started on July 31.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported that the small Gulf country filed a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization against attempts to "terrorize" travelers flying on Qatari Airways.

In reaction to Sheikh Abdullah's tweet, more than 240 thousand social media users turned to twitter and expressed thank for his efforts to mediate between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He's a member of the royal family, but doesn't hold any role in government. This branch of the Qatari family was ousted from the country's throne in 1972.

"He further said: "Our relations with Saudi Arabia have never reached this level of crisis, so much so that the kingdom enacted a law that prevents even sympathy with the State of Qatar with fines and imprisonment". He plays no role in the Qatar administration.