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Saudi says Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

AFP , Sunday 20 Aug 2017
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File Photo: Saudi Airline plane (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia on Sunday said Qatar had refused to allow its planes to land in Doha to transport Qatari Muslims to Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage.

"Saudi Arabian Airlines director general Saleh al-Jasser has said that the airline has thus far been unable to schedule flights to transport Qatari pilgrims from Hamad International Airport in Doha," read a report on the SPA news agency.

"Qatari authorities have not allowed the aircraft to land as it did not have the right paperwork, although the paperwork was filed days ago," SPA said.

Saudi Arabia last week reopened its land border with Qatar for Muslim pilgrims and said it would provide transport for Qataris from Doha to Mecca, in a temporary lifting of a months-long boycott of Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in June cut all ties with Qatar over allegations that the emirate supported Islamist extremists.

The four Arab states have recalled their diplomats from Qatar and banned the emirate from using their airspace or ports.

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