Hajj controversy widens row between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, calls for internationalization of holy sites

Hajj controversy widens row between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, calls for internationalization of holy sites

Riyadh (Web Desk): Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir considers today Qatar's request to internationalize the holy places as an aggression and declaring a war against Saudi Arabia.

He said, "We have the right to respond to any party working in the field of internationalization of the holy places. The history of the Kingdom is clear in facilitating the arrival of pilgrims."

The Saudi foreign minister considered Qatar's decision to prevent Qatari citizens from pilgrimage, reflecting their disrespect for the Qatari pilgrims, expressing the Kingdom's welcome to them.

He affirmed that all actions taken by the four countries were due to the Qatari government's policy of supporting and funding terrorism, hosting people involved in terrorism, promoting hate and interfering in the other countries' internal affairs.

Asked about Qatar's relations with Iran, Al Jubeir said: "Qatar bears the consequences of relations with Iran but we don't think the Qatari people will accept any Iranian role in Qatar."

He said the four countries are ready for talks with Qatar on implementing the the six principles announced at the Cairo meeting.

"Qatar talks about everything, except for halting terror funding, instigation, harbouring wanted people and interfering in other countries' internal affairs," he added.

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Foreign Minister of Bahrain, said the four countries expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue with Qatar.

He praised his country's cooperation with Egypt in all fields, especially the joint military exercises between the two countries.

Sameh Shukry, Foreign Minister of Egypt, also lauded cooperation with Bahrain.

"This military cooperation contributes maintaining Arab security, as well as the security of Bahrain and Egypt," he said.

He stressed that any talks with Qatar require the latter to commit to meeting the 13 demands and the six principles.

We consider Qatari people in every step we take: Abdullah bin Zayed

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has confirmed that the four countries boycotting the State of Qatar take the country's people into consideration before taking any step towards resolving the Qatari crisis.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks during a joint press conference held in Manama with the foreign ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Sheikh Abdullah said the main responsibility for the crisis lies with the Qatari state, which can easily function within its Arab periphery.

"It is for the Qatari leadership to decide the approach they want for Qatar and for the people of Qatar," he added.

He also indicated that the steps taken by the four countries are in line with the fundamental principles of international law and are a reflection of their commitment to the law.

"There is a consensus among the four countries that in every step we take, we try to minimise any impact on the brotherly people of Qatar."

"In 2013 and 2014, we had talks, following which, Qatar signed agreements but failed to honour them. Before entering into new commitments, Qatar should ask itself: Are we willing to commit, or will we dishonour our commitments again?" he added.

The story is originally published by “Khaleej Times”