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Saudi King Salman invites Qatar pilgrims to Hajj

Baku, August 17, AZERTAC

Saudi Arabia will open its land border with Qatar to allow Hajj pilgrims to pass through, its official press agency said, according to Aljazeera news.

A statement on the official Saudi Press Agency on Thursday said the Salwa border point would be open for Qatari citizens who wish to perform the annual pilgrimage to pass through with no electronic permissions needed.

The statement added that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has invited Qatari pilgrims to perform this year's Hajj pilgrimage at his expense.

King Salman also ordered that private jets belonging to Saudi airlines be sent to Doha airport "to bring all Qatari pilgrims on his expenses".

The Salwa border crossing had been shut after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting "terrorism". Qatar denies the accusations.

Jeddah is the airport hub for pilgrims travelling to Mecca and Medina to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Under the same royal directive, Qatari citizens will also be transported to Mecca from King Fahad airport and Ihsaa airport in the east of the country.

There has been no reaction yet by Qatar's government to the announcement.

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