FILE - In this March 29, 2017 file photo, Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends the summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, Jordan. The official Saudi Press Agency is reporting on Saturday, April 8, 2017 that U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken by telephone with King Salman about the U.S. missile strike on Syria. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, File) Image Credit: AP

The mediation of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Jassem Al Thani with Saudi Arabia, to facilitate the entry of Qatari pilgrims is a move appreciated by King Salman, wrote Saudi Arabia’s Al Yaum. “King Salman also ordered private jets to fly Qatari pilgrims from Doha to Makkah at his own expense. Saudi Arabia accepting this mediation effort reaffirms the depth of brotherly relations between the people of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Political disagreements cannot affect in any shape or form the ties between the two people, and King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz were considerate of the Qatari people’s interests. Saudi Arabia will continue to maintain principles that support brotherly relations with the people of Qatar,” the paper said.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman travelled all the way to the Norwegian capital of Oslo to complain about Saudi Arabia and the other countries that have boycotted it and to seek a supporter for Qatar, said the London-based pan-Arab paper, Asharq Al Awsat. “However, the issue raised by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman was the pilgrimage of Qatari nationals. The Qatar minister found no other than the Scandinavian country to complain about the Haj issue, even though there is no issue to begin with. King Salman welcomed the Qatari pilgrims and offered to send private planes to get them directly from Doha to Makkah, despite the ongoing severance of ties between the anti-terror [Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt] quartet and Doha. Head of Qatar’s diplomacy reached an unprecedented level this time by saying that banning Qatari pilgrims from entering Saudi Arabia was politically motivated, and then allowing them was also politically motivated. This diplomatic statement sums up the Qatari political confusion.”

Saudi Arabia, in its tradition of magnanimity, has refuted all the venom that has been aimed at its policies, traditions and values, wrote Lebanon’s Daily Star. “No better example of this can be seen than in Saudi Arabia welcoming Qatari pilgrims on Thursday, totally debunking accusations that it uses Haj as a political tool. Unsurprisingly, this move has been immediately welcomed by the government in Doha, and finally we are seeing signs of a reprieve in the Gulf diplomatic crisis. It is a known fact that the total restoration of ties between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies will take a long time. But it is worthwhile to remember that not only do these countries lie next to one another, but they share historical, cultural and familial ties that can never be broken.”

The wise initiative by King Salman towards Qatari pilgrims is a strong blow to the Qatari regime, said the UAE’s Al Bayan. “Saudi Arabia has proved to the world that the anti-terrorism countries that are boycotting Qatar are very considerate towards the Qatari people ... The Qatari regime should be embarrassed for its lies, false accusations and its failed attempt to politicise Haj. However, you cannot teach a crab to walk straight. Doha’s response to King Salman’s initiative reaffirms the regime’s resolve to continue on its path of politicising matters ...”