‘Declaration of war:’ Hajj controversy widens row between Saudi Arabia & Qatar

The feud between the Saudi-led block and Qatar escalated over the weekend, with Doha protesting to the UN over restrictions on its citizens flying to Mecca, and Riyadh threatening “war” over what it considers calls to “internationalize the holy sites” in Mecca and Medina.

Following a meeting Sunday of the so-called Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) of Arab states which are embroiled in a conflict with Qatar, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir lashed out at Doha, accusing it of politicizing the Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim has to perform at least once in their lifetime.

“Qatar’s request to internationalize the holy sites is an aggressive act and a declaration of war against the kingdom,” al-Jubeir told the Al Arabiya channel, adding, that Saudi Arabia “reserve the right to respond to any party” promoting such demands. read more