Saudi haj pilgrimage flights wait for landing rights; Qatar denies blocking them

However, the airline is yet to be granted permission to land in Doha, explained Saudi Arabia Airlines Director-General Saleh Al Jasser.

Saudi Airlines had asked Qatari authorities for permission for their flights to transport Qatari pilgrims, which were scheduled after mediation between Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani.

Not just that King Salman has also said that he would fly Qatari pilgrims on Saudi Airlines at his expense.

It also comes after Qatar accused the Saudis of politicizing the hajj.

The Salwa border crossing, a key passage for Muslims on the annual Hajj pilgrimage, has been closed since June in a diplomatic crisis that saw Riyadh and its regional allies cut relations with Doha over allegations that the emirate supported Islamist extremists.

A fire broke out in a hotel in the Saudi city Makkah on Monday, sparking alarm among Haj pilgrims, an official said on Monday.

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A third Egyptian pilgrim has died of natural causes in Saudi Arabia since pilgrims began arriving last week for the annual hajj, state-run news agency MENA reported on Sunday, quoting Egypt's health ministry.

The national flag carrier have so far been given 21 additional slots, while it had initially received 144 slots to carry 63,599 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that the siege countries have not yet submitted, after 73 days of the blockade, any evidence supporting their accusations against Qatar's supporting terrorism. This branch of the Qatari family was ousted from the country's throne in 1972.

"The NHRC emphasises that the Hajj can not be used for political and personal calculations or mediations, rather, it is a right guaranteed by global agreements on Human Rights and Islamic law", it said.

"Saudi Arabia should lift the embargo on the State of Qatar without restriction and enable". The quartet also halted direct flights, expelled Qatari residents and the three Gulf countries ordered their citizens in Qatar to leave. He plays no role in the Qatar administration.

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