No Qatari mediation in Saudi Haj ban

Qatari sources have refuted Saudi Arabia’s claims that the Saudi-Qatar land border was opened following a mediation led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani.

Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Media Corporation Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani said his uncle, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani, had visited Saudi Arabia "with the aim of resolving (some matters related to) personal belongings in Hail city of Saudi Arabia".

He added on his Twitter account (@ahjh_althani) that "when he (Sheikh Abdullah) touched on the issue of Haj obstacles, they (Saudi authorities) found it an opportunity to get out of their Haj impasse and reverse the matter into an acceptance of mediation".

On August 15, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed his country’s concern to “the state of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia,” urging Riyadh “to embrace greater degrees of religious freedom for all of its citizens".

On August 16 and following the US criticism, Secretary Tillerson held a phone conversation with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, and the “two sides reviewed bilateral ties, and discussed recent developments of situations in the region,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

On August 17, official Saudi media reported that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud instructed to allow Qatari pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia through the Salwa land border.

For its part, Qatar welcomed the Saudi decision, saying that Riyadh will be responsible for the security of the Qatari pilgrims, should there be a lack of co-operation from the Saudi side.

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes