Saudi Arabia to Allow Qatari Hajj Pilgrims Through Border Crossing

"The government of Qatar welcomes the decision and will respond positively", said Qatar's foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

The Iraqi leader's "no" came during a meeting with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa in Baghdad. Qatari officials did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

He also ordered that private jets belonging to Saudi airlines be sent to Doha airport "to bring all Qatari pilgrims on his expenses".

Saudi state TV said 100 Qataris had arrived at the border crossing on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, and UAE reportedly tried last month to drag Baghdad into the spat but Abadi pushed off their requests.

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It was not clear, however, in what capacity Sheikh Abdullah was representing the Qatari government during the meeting.

Sheikh Abdullah's grandfather, father and brother were rulers of Qatar until a palace coup ousted his branch of the royal family in 1972.

The "goodwill gesture" comes amid a diplomatic crisis that began when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June.

"Therefore, we believe our position is to clearly stand with our partners, namely Saudi Arabia and UAE and We urge the FGS to reconsider its position regarding the impending crisis which if not addressed properly will have lasting and negative consequences for the people of Somalia" the statement added.

"All Qatari pilgrims be transported from King Fahad International Airport in Dammam and Al-Ahsa International Airport as his (King Salman) guests".

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Since the beginning of the siege, the statement said, NHRC "has called for facilitating Haj procedures for citizens and residents of the State of Qatar without restrictions, and also called for regional and global moves to lift the injustice and not to politicise the Haj or use it as leverage against peoples or governments".

The committee also reiterated "calls for further measures to lift the siege entirely on citizens and residents of Qatar", the statement said.

Qatar had previously filed a complaint with the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of belief and religion over restrictions placed on its nationals who wanted to attend the hajj this year.

Relations between Qatar and its neighbors have fallen apart since June 5 after the bloc accused the tiny emirate of supporting terrorism.

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