46664 pilgrims yet to travel to Saudi: Biman

46664 pilgrims yet to travel to Saudi: Biman

46664 pilgrims yet to travel to Saudi: Biman

Saudi Arabia says it will allow all Qatari citizens inside the kingdom for the annual hajj pilgrimage without permits, despite an ongoing blockade imposed on Qatar.

Hajj of those pilgrims became uncertain as the Saudi authorities were "dilly-dallying" over giving permission to operate additional flights and extending deadline for carrying pilgrims, sources at the Hajj Camp in capital's Ashkona said.

The hajj draws Muslims from around the world to the western Saudi Arabia city of Makkah, birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and the most revered site in Islam. It is believed that the Saudi Arabian crown prince responded the same way, highlighting historical links between the two royal families.

Nonneman added that Sheikh Abdullah is no way any kind of envoy of Qatar. "After the directive was issued by King Salman that Qatari pilgrims would be allowed into the Kingdom", explained Saleh Al-Jasser, "the airline contacted the Qatari authorities to get landing permission". Visits by Qataris to their relatives in Saudi Arabia have been eased. The quartet also halted direct flights, expelled Qatari residents and the three Gulf countries ordered their citizens in Qatar to leave.

Strangely, Qatar's foreign minister too had appreciated Saudi Arabia for the decision, but it looks like the government doesn't share the same sentiment and refuses to open the country's airspace.

Pilgrims from Egypt began arriving in Saudi Arabia last week for the hajj, which begins either on August 30 or September 1, depending on the lunar calendar.

"Comparing the previous years' statistics, the rate visa application of this year was much better".

On Thursday, Saudi reopened the blockaded land border with Qatar for pilgrims, in a move that Doha welcomed but saw as "politically motivated" as regional tensions simmer.

Bahrain on Wednesday said it was investigating an alleged telephone call between Qatar's prime minister and Ali Salman, a Bahraini Shiite opposition leader who is serving a nine-year prison sentence for his role in the country's 2011 protests.

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