At least 700 pilgrims from Qatar have crossed into Saudi Arabia via the Salwa border ahead of the Hajj pilgrimage since last Thursday, Saudi officials have confirmed to Al Arabiya.
General Manager of Passports at Salwa border, Colonel Hassan al-Dosari, has said that the border continues to register rise in the number of Qatari citizens entering Saudi Arabia at an accelerated pace as part of the guest program of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper said that the number began to rise after Qatari authorities refused to allow Saudi Arabian Airlines to transport Qatari pilgrims to Mecca.
Othman al-Ghamdi, the General Manager of Salwa border customs, said that boarding arrangements have been made available for Qatari pilgrims passing through the border.
The Qatari pilgrims from the time of their arrival in Saudi Arabia until they leave after Hajj, will be at the expense of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, he added.
Meanwhile, a number of Qatari pilgrims expressed their happiness at reaching Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. They noted Saudi Arabia's role in the service of the two holy mosques and the services and facilities provided to them at the port.
They also hailed the warm reception they received upon arrival and pointed out that their passage into the port from the passport lounge all the way to customs was swift and without obstacles.
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