Qatari GCC staff barred from entering Saudi Arabia

Qatari GCC staff barred from entering Saudi Arabia
2 min read
26 November, 2017
Three Qatari nationals who work for the Riyadh-based Gulf Cooperation Council were refused entry into Saudi Arabia by border officers on Saturday.
In July, Saudi authorities decided to drive out Qatari nationals [AFP]
Three Qatari nationals who work for the Riyadh-based Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] were barred from entering Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The Qatari nationals, identified as Fahad al-Hajri, Majed al-Suwaidi and Meshaal al-Khalifa, were turned back by Saudi officers at the Salwa border crossing that connects Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The move comes following a decision in July by Saudi authorities to drive out Qatari nationals inside the kingdom and ban their own citizens from going to Qatar amid a Saudi-led blockade.

The decision, however, had exempted Qatari nationals who work at the GCC headquarters in Riyadh.

At the time, the secretary general of the GCC confirmed to the Qatar’ foreign ministry that the council "received approval from Saudi Arabia to allow all GCC staff to remain in the kingdom, promising to facilitate their stay to continue in their positions at the GCC headquarters".

The council had also confirmed that this will apply to "all Qatari nationals working in international and regional institutions based in Saudi Arabia".

In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - all GCC members - abruptly cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June, accusing the emirate of being too close to Iran and supporting Islamist extremism. 

They sealed off the emirate's only land border in the wide-ranging blockade.

Qatar denies the charges, claiming the dispute is an attack on its sovereignty.