Saudi King Salman announced that the country will open up its land borders for Qatari Hajj pilgrims to pass through easily and continue their Holy pilgrimage, despite intense diplomatic countries between both countries.
As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman has decided to allow the Qatari pilgrims to conduct Hajj pilgrim and hence sent out a directive to the Salwa border post to allow entry of Qatari citizens, without electronic permits. All borders were previously shut down for entry in accordance with the great Qatar crisis, banning income of anyone from Qatar through air, water or land routes. But since Hajj pilgrimage is the most pious routine, globally recognised and followed by Muslims, the decree was passed on.
This was also the effect of mediation by Qatari defence minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Jassem Al Thani, who recently met the crown prince of Saudi Arabia – which is considered to be the first direct meet between the royals of both countries after the rift. During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah had stressed out that Saudi-Qatar ties were deep-rooted and that allowing pilgrims to visit the Grand Mosque was moral duty for the holy Custodian. In response to this proposal, King Salman thanked Sheikh Abdullah for affirming the deep historic relations of both Arabic kingdoms, their citizens and the royal rulers.
King Salman didn’t just open the land borders at Salwa for Qatari pilgrims but also ordered the transport of all Qatari pilgrims from King Fahd International Airport in Dammam as well as Al Ahsa International Airport be done free of charge and as part of the King Salman Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah. The King has also ordered to send Saudi Arabian Airlines planes to Doha Airport to transport all Qatari pilgrims directly to Jeddah and for all their costs to be covered at his personal expense, within the King Salman Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah. This is an amazingly affirmative gesture from both Saudi Arabia and Qatar which might even extend and restore friendly bilateral relations between both Monarch states – towards a united, stronger and unbreakable Gulf peninsula.