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Asharq Al-Awsat Reveals Latest Details of Qatari Pilgrims Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabian Airlines. (AFP)

Riyadh – A Saudi official narrated the last decisive hours in the crisis of the Qatari pilgrims, who were supposed to be transported by seven Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) flights to the Kingdom in tandem with guidelines of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and following a mediation by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani.

In a statement, the Qatari civil aviation authorities denied rejecting transporting Hajj pilgrims from Hamad International Airport to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

A reliable source in the Saudi aviation authority revealed that Doha’s official response was not received until 9:30 pm on Sunday.

The Saudi request to Qatari civil aviation authorities could have been finalized in two hours, but it took Qatar four days to respond, a behavior Riyadh described as “intentional procrastination”.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General Saleh al-Jasser said that his carrier has so far not been granted permission to land in Qatar, despite submitting the application several days ago.

“The national carrier planes are fully ready to move to Doha airport once a Qatari response is received. The ball is in the Qatari authorities’ court. We are ready to move airplanes once a positive reply is received, but it seems that Doha prefers to stall,” added the reliable source in the Saudi aviation authorities.