Nasarawa State pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia - Amirul Hajj

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The Grand Mufti termed Doha's deterrence to transfer the pilgrims to Saudi by air as "wrong and dangerous".

The Emirates' Senior Vice-President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, Adil Al Ghaith, said that travelling for hajj was a unique experience for Muslims around the world, and the airline expected over 20,000 pilgrims to travel with it this year.

According to the deputy minister, Saudi authorities would never condone such kind embarrassment of pilgrims and would take measures to ensure all those who participated in the maltreatment of pilgrims were brought to book.

Saudi Arabia recently reopened its land border to Qatari pilgrims and offered to fly them to hajj.

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Special adviser religious affairs in cross-river state Rev. Father Bob Etta said this during the farewell admonitions to pilgrims at the port Harcourt worldwide airport for those travelling for the annual hajj.

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. Qatar has denied all such claims.

"Given the continued involvement of the state of Qatar in the attempts at the destabilisation of Chad from Libya, the government has decided on the closure of the embassy and the departure of the ambassador and diplomatic personnel from national territory", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Saudi Arabia should lift the embargo on the State of Qatar without restriction and enable".