Saudi Arabia is pushing back against a demand it says Qatar made regarding the hajj pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca, calling it a "declaration of war."
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television network quoted Saudi Arabia's foreign minister as saying Qatar's "demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom. We reserve the right to respond to anyone who is working on the internationalization of the holy sites." Qatar's foreign minister told Al Jazeera his government has no idea what Saudi Arabia is talking about, as no one ever said anything about internationalizing hajj. "We are tired of responding to false information and stories invented from nothing," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said.
What Qatar did say on Saturday is that it's worried Qataris will have a hard time attending hajj this year because of the severed diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Reuters reports. Earlier this summer, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain joined forces against Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terror groups, and demanded that Qatar meet 13 requirements before they would re-establish diplomatic ties.