Qatar warns Saudi Arabia against using Haj as a “tool for political manipulation”

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry is criticising Saudi Arabia’s decision to fly Qatari pilgrims to the kingdom only on Saudi aircraft as “illogical” and cautioned against exploiting Haj “as a tool for political manipulation.”


The ministry’s statement, released on Tuesday on the state-run Qatar News Agency, also criticised Saudi King Salman’s offer to fly Qatari pilgrims at his expense. It said the state of Qatar and Qatari pilgrims “don’t need aid in terms of covering the cost of Haj and portraying it as a charity.”

Last week, Saudi Arabia unilaterally reopened its border with Qatar to allow Qataris to perform Haj amid a months-long rift between the neighbouring countries.

The annual pilgrimage is performed at Islam’s holiest site in Makkah.


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