Qatar’s foreign minister was shocked when it was announced that Qatari pilgrims can travel only by Saudi Arabian Airlines to perform Haj.
Ambassador Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi, Foreign Ministry’s Information Office Director, said in a statement that limiting the transport of Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabian Airlines only is unprecedented, illogical, surprising and contravenes the teachings of Islam, which urge the facilitation of performing this duty to all Muslims.
The ambassador noted that in previous instances of severing ties with Saudi Arabia and other countries, such measures were not taken. He stressed that Qatar and Qatari pilgrims did not need aid for covering the cost of Haj and portraying it as a charity, because there are other beneficiaries who need charity more than Qatari pilgrims.
He added that lifting of siege would be real facilitation to Qataris to perform haj and would fall in line with the nature of this rite and comply with the teachings of Islam and international conventions. He also stressed to separate Haj from politics.
Earlier, Doha had denied a claim from Saudi Arabian Airlines accusing Qatari authorities of refusing to allow one of its flights to land at Hamad International Airport.
Though, Saudi Arabia has allowed Qataris to perform Haj, there are several restrictions which is making it difficult. The latest move has been criticized by people in Qatar, who claim that the pilgrimage is being used as a political tool.