SAUDI FM SLAMS QATAR’S CALL TO INTERNATIONALISE HOLY SITES AS “DECLARATION OF WAR”

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, warned that, Qatar’s call to internationalise the holy sites is “a declaration of war against the kingdom.”

“We reserve the right to respond to any party, working in the field of internationalisation of the holy sites,” al-Jubeir said, in an interview with Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, on the sidelines of the Saudi-led Quartet’s foreign ministers’ meeting in Manama, Bahrain.

At a joint news conference in Manama, al-Jubeir reiterated that, Qataris were welcome to perform the pilgrimage to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia rejects Qatar’s attempt to politicise the arrival of Qatari pilgrims into the kingdom,” al-Jubeir said at the news conference, with his counterparts from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt.

“Saudi Arabia welcomes Qataris to perform the Hajj, like the rest of the pilgrims,” the top Saudi diplomat said, adding that, Riyadh is making great efforts to facilitate the arrival of pilgrims into the country.

The joint statement, issued by the four foreign ministers, also condemned Qatar’s authorities for obstructing its citizens from performing the Hajj.

The Saudi-led quartet cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar and impose a blockade on it on Jun 5, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and extremism, interfering in their internal affairs and seeking closer ties with Iran.

The joint statement insisted that Qatar meet their demands before they could hold talks to end the Gulf crisis. The demands challenge Qatar to halt funding of terrorism and extremism, stop interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and downgrade its ties with Iran.

Hajj pilgrims from around the world have started arriving in Saudi Arabia, to prepare for the annual Hajj in Mecca, the holiest site for Muslims, that starts late Aug.

A Saudi official accused Qatar of barring its citizens from travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj

Source: NAM News Network