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Qatar Update: Saudi Arabia Slams ‘Aggressive’ Demand On Haj As ‘Declaration Of War’

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The four countries, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, who cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 met in Manama On Sunday.

This was the second meeting for the group this month to discuss how to proceed with the Qatari cutoff following a meeting in Cairo on July 5.

Following the meeting it’s clear the boycott is still very much in play. However, the four countries have ‘expressed a readiness for dialogue with  Qatar with the condition that it declares its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism” according to Wam.ae. They have granted airspace to Qatar in case of emergencies while Saudi Arabia has responded with fury over Qatar’s request to internationalise management of the holy sites.

Saudi Arabia publicly admonished Qatar over Qatar’s alleged intentions to ‘internationalise’ management of Mecca and Medina

Saudi Arabia consider the request to internationalise management “an aggressive act and a declaration of war against Saudi Arabia,” Saudi foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir told a press conference in Manama yesterday.

The comment was in relation to a statement from Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission which stated Qataris could only enter Saudi via certain airports and must only fly from Doha, a move which reflects Qatars disrespect for Qatari pilgrims according to the Saudi foreign minister.

After the conference Mr Al Jubeir affirmed that all Muslims are welcome to visit Saudi for pilgrimage.

Airspace is being granted to Qatar in case of emergencies

The four countries are allowing Qatari planes to use airspace in emergencies. Nine corridors have been identified and will be available for use for Qatar after August 1. A UAE representative commented this move underlines “our commitment to regional aviation safety.”

While this looks like a conciliatory action, the four countries affirmed after that meeting that they would not back down on the six demands perviously set in place.

The importance of these demands have been underlined by Wam.ae, the government news agency, to achieve security regionally and internationally.

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