Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

1,400 Qatari Pilgrims Arrive in Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca to perform the annual Hajj. Reuters photo

Dammam– Over 1,400 Qatari pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia through Salwa crossing to attend the pilgrimage, after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered the opening of the crossing at his personal expense.

King Salman’s orders were issued after the mediation of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani.

Dammam and al-Ihsa airport have also been equipped to receive the pilgrims where government committees have been deployed to facilitate their religious duties.

Salwa crossing is still accessible for anyone wanting to enter the Kingdom for humanitarian issues or who have relatives from Saudi or Qatari families inside the country.

Earlier, Qatari authorities refused to allow seven Saudi airplanes to enter to transfer of Qatari pilgrims to Makkah through King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah and Taif airport.

Salwa Customs’Acting Director Abdulrahman Abo al-Kheil explained that the land crossing continues to receive pilgrims and humanitarian cases. He added that they are still serving all the families arriving and leaving Saudi Arabia.

The crossing continues to receive pilgrims until 8th of Dhu al-Hejja as more are expected to arrive.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the land crossing is functioning around the clock to serve the pilgrims and has provided them with electronic registration given that they are excluded from Hajj permits. He added that it only takes a pilgrim a record time of five minutes to register.

Salwa is the only land crossing that links Qatar with the world with more than 1,000 trucks passing everyday loaded with supplies and an annual average of 4,000 per day.

Import and export at the land crossing almost stopped after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt boycotted Qatar for its hostile policies and support for terrorism threatening the security of the quartet, the region, and the world.