Saudi Airlines unable to transfer Qatari pilgrims due to "lack of permission"

Poor African man who was asking if a drone can take him to Mecca gets his dream fulfilled

An ongoing blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt on June 5 included a ban on Qatar using the bloc's ports and airspace.

As millions of Muslims from around the world are coming to Mecca this month for the Hajj pilgrimage, considered one of the five most important Islamic rites, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud allowed Qatari pilgrims free passage through the Saudi border as well ordering Saudi Arabian Airlines to bring worshipers from Doha free of charge.

The Saudi monarch also instructed that planes of the Saudi Airline be sent to Qatar to carry Qataris wishing to perform the Hajj.

In reality, at the border crossing, some Qataris are still not being allowed to make the journey.

The Saudi-led embargo has had an economic impact on Qatar.

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The four countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups and of trying to foment unrest in the region. Qatar rejects those claims.

On the same day, Qatar filed a complaint before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), against what it said were attempts to "terrorise" travellers who are flying on its national flag carrier.

The complaint pointed to a report by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel that shows a simulation of a fighter jet forcing a Qatar Airways flight to land if it enters the quartet's airspace.

Qatar on Saturday took further action with global organizations over the Saudi-led blockade, sending a letter to the United Nations chief and filing a complaint with an worldwide aviation body over threats to down Qatari civilian airliners. Now, the Salwa border point will be open for Qatari pilgrims to pass through "without electronic permits".

Sheikh Abdullah used his new Twitter account on Sunday to express his disappointment over Saudi aircraft not being given permission to pick up Qatari pilgrims. "I hope the brothers in Qatar will cooperate to facilitate pilgrimage for the citizens".

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