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Saudi King Salman invites Qatar pilgrims to Hajj

Saudi King Salman invites Qatar pilgrims to Hajj

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has ordered the border with Qatar be reopened to allow pilgrims to carry out their annual pilgrimage to Makkah, official SPA said in Riyadh.

Haider al-Abadi Sunday said "no" to Bahrain's invitation to Iraq to join the Saudi-led bloc, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, and cut ties with Qatar, The New Arab noted citing anonymous Iraqi sources.

King Salman has ordered the transport of all Qatari pilgrims from King Fahad International Airport in Dammam as well as Al Ahsa International Airport be done free of charge and part of the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Program for Haj and Umrah.

The king ordered that Qatari pilgrims be allowed "to enter Saudi Arabia through the border crossing to do the pilgrimage", said a statement from the Saudi News Agency.

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Qatar denied the allegations and denounced what it called a "blockade" aimed at bringing the wealthy emirate to its knees.

Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) demanded on Saturday that Saudi Arabia lift all land and air restrictions on Qatar-based pilgrims traveling to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies shut down air, maritime and land links with Qatar, and imposed economic sanctions, accusing Doha of supporting "terrorists' and of being too close to their regional nemesis Iran".

The Saudi state TV channel has sparked outrage by suggesting that a Qatari passenger jet can be shot down by a missile under worldwide law.