Qatar denies blocking Saudi planes ferrying pilgrims to hajj
Aug. 21, 2017
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar is denying an allegation that it is blocking Saudi planes from transporting Qatari citizens to the annual hajj pilgrimage.
Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority issued the denial early on Monday, saying it told Saudi Arabian Airlines that the request must be coordinated with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The airline's general manager, Saleh al-Jasser, said on Sunday that planes had not been allowed to land in the Qatari capital, Doha, despite a request days earlier.
Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries cut diplomatic and transport links with Qatar and barred its planes from their airspace in early June, accusing it of backing extremists. Qatar denies the allegation.
Saudi Arabia recently reopened its land border to Qatari pilgrims and offered to fly them to hajj.