Information ministers from Anti-Terror Quartet countries discuss Qatar crisis

:: The information ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt met here on Thursday to discuss the Qatar crisis, which has raised tensions in the region.

The ministers of the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) countries discussed the importance of continuing joint media cooperation to confront extremism and terrorism of all kinds.

The importance of mitigating the effects of media hate speech sponsored by the government of Qatar was also on the agenda.

The ministers spoke about Saudi Arabia’s efforts to serve pilgrims and facilitate the performance of Hajj and Umrah for all Muslims including Qataris, and reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to stop the Hajj from being politicized.

The meeting also dealt with a number of proposals that will enhance joint regional and international efforts to combat extremism and terrorism around the world.

The ATQ severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism. One of the early demands made was for the closure of the Al Jazeera TV channel, which has been accused of giving a platform to terror groups.

Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad said in a statement to the media following the meeting that Saudi Arabia, since its establishment, has been dedicated to the success of the divine ritual of Hajj.

“Saudi Arabia has an excellent record of serving the guests of God from all over the world … the politicization of the Hajj is a political decline through which Qatar aims to complicate the current situation and exploit this great ritual for limited political goals. In contemporary history, only Iran tried to politicize Hajj before Qatar, and it failed miserably in its attempt,” he said.

Al-Awwad maintained that Qatari citizens are welcome to perform Hajj this year as they have always been in previous years, and pointed out that many corridors have been opened for Qatari pilgrims, and all their needs have been secured to enable them perform their rituals safely and comfortably.

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