Saudi Arabia to open border with Qatar to let pilgrims attend hajj

The Guardian- Move by King Salman follows the hosting of an envoy from Doha – the first signs of a thaw in the region’s diplomatic crisis

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the reopening of the land border with Qatar to facilitate the annual hajj pilgrimage, according to state media, in one of the first signs of a thaw in the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in years.

The Salwa border crossing had been shut after Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on 5 June, accusing the emirate of supporting Islamist extremist groups.

The announcement to reopen the border for Qatari pilgrims came after the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, received an envoy from Doha, according to the Saudi Press Agency, in the first high-level public encounter between the nations since the crisis erupted.

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