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The New Arab

Qatar 'welcomes all' despite continued blockade

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their nationals from Qatar [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 May, 2019

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Qatar has stressed that its borders are open for everyone after an official hinted that people from countries boycotting Doha were not welcome to the emirate.

Qatar has stressed that its borders are open to all, after an official hinted that people from countries boycotting Doha were not welcome.

The Qatari Government Communications Office made the clarification on Sunday, the state-run QNA news agency reported.

The statement said Doha welcomes "all the people of the world" and was striving to "deepen the bonds of love and reject hatred among people".

It added that any comments not issued by the interior or foreign ministry do not reflect official policy.

The statement comes after a tourism official said Qatar would not grant visas to Egyptians nationals seeking to enter the country, Reuters reported.

Egypt is involved in the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar, accusing it of backing radical Islamist groups and seeking closer ties with Iran.

Doha has repeatedly denied the claims and accused the bloc of seeking regime change.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain recalled their nationals from Qatar at the start of the dispute in June 2017.

Egyptians, who make a large part of the foreign workforce, have remained however.

The blockading states have all imposed stringent restrictions on Qataris entering their territories, while Qatar has imposed visa restrictions on Egyptians.

Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of effectively banning its citizens from attending the hajj pilgrimage since the spat broke out.

Doha has also said the UAE prevented Qatari fans from attending the Asian Cup football tournament last year.

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