Humanitarian Measures and Efforts Undertaken by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia During Qatari Crisis
The decision to cut off diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar was based on Saudi Arabia’s sovereign rights guaranteed by international law and the protection of its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism, as indicated in UN General Assembly Resolution A / RES / 48/141 on 7/1/1994, paragraph (a) of Article (3) of the Resolution affirmed respecting sovereignty of States, their territorial integrity and their domestic jurisdiction.
The Kingdom has taken the decision to boycott as a result of abuses by the authorities in Doha since 1995, like infringing on sovereignty of the Saudi Arabia, embracing terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Da’esh, and Al-Qaeda, and promoting rhetoric and schemes of these groups across their media permanently.
The Kingdom and the rest of the GCC countries exerted tremendous efforts to urge the authority in Doha to abide by its commitments and agreements, but Qatar has consistently reneged on its international obligations and did not abide by its commitments signed in the Riyadh Agreement in 2013. After the three countries exerted their political and diplomatic efforts, because of Qatar Emir’s renege on his pledge to stop negative policy, the three countries withdrew ambassadors but return them again after the Qatari authorities signed the supplementary agreement in 2014.
Qatar renege on the agreements it signed under the umbrella of the GCC states, worked to divide the Saudi society, infringe on Saudi sovereignty, and embrace multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region, leading the four countries to take a decision to protect their national security.
Regardless of the hostile practices perpetrated by the authorities in Doha, the Kingdom will continue to support the Qatari people and support their security and stability. In this regard, the Kingdom has taken the necessary measures to address the humanitarian cases of Saudis and Qatari people affected by this decision, most notably the issuance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Order No. 43522 dated 21/9/1438 AH, to form a committee to take into account the humanitarian cases of joint families headed by the Ministry of Interior and membership of the competent authorities. The Ministry of Interior has officially announced telephone numbers for receiving and processing timely reports of these cases.
Basic rules of government in Saudi Arabia include in articles (26), (39) and (43) that the state protects human rights, in accordance with Islamic law, and that the media and publishing and all means of expression adhere to the good word and state regulations, and contribute to educating the nation and support its unity and prohibits what leads to sedition, division, or threats to state security and public relations, or offends human dignity and rights.
Regarding the alleged criminalization of sympathy for Qatar, including the fact that the Kingdom imposed penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to three million riyals in the case of sympathy for Qatar, this is not true, as the Kingdom’s laws guarantee freedom of opinion and expression for every human being, unless there is a violation of public order. This restriction has a legislative basis at the national in accordance with relevant international standards, the most prominent of which is contained in article 29, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulates that an individual shall be subject to the exercise of his rights and freedoms. Those restrictions established by law in order to ensure that the rights and freedoms of others are recognized and respected and that the just requirements of public order, public interest and morality are fulfilled. The legal basis for restricting expression is in line with international human rights standards.
Restrictions on freedom of movement and communication:
Hajj and Umrah:
Qatari people are allowed to enter the Kingdom for the purpose of performing Hajj and Umrah. They have been treated positively in recognition of their circumstances such as exemption from the requirement of logging in via the electronic route and obtaining the necessary permits for this purpose, according to the regular mechanisms used to perform Hajj, including: Their association with authorized campaigns and allowing them to enter the Kingdom through the air ports approved to perform Hajj according to the procedures followed with all pilgrims from various countries of the world without exception.
Saudi leadership and people are keen on to provide all the possibilities and facilities to serve the pilgrims, stressing its rejection of the Hajj politicization carried out by the Qatari Government, including blocking the web site provided by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and launching media attacks towards the Kingdom despite the facilities provided to them:
First: Hajj Season of 1438 AH:
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah signed the Hajj Agreement with the delegation of the State of Qatar but Qatari authorities prevent Qataris from Hajj because of the diplomatic relations cut off.
Based on the Qatari intransigence in preventing their citizens from Hajj, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directed in the season of 1438 AH to host all the pilgrims who wish to come from Qatar to perform Hajj.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah issued a statement on 26/10/1438 AH, explaining the steps that should be taken into consideration for the arrival of pilgrims from Qatar, was published by the Saudi News Agency and reported by the media that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the arrival of pilgrims from Qatar and that they can come according to the mechanism described in the statement through the designated air ports at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, and through any airlines but Qatar Airways.
The delegation of Qatar’s Hajj Affairs insisted on transporting pilgrims through Qatar Airways only, which reflects the Qatari side’s intention to not allow citizens and residents in Qatar to perform Hajj.
Second: Season of 1439 AH:
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah invited the delegation of the Hajj Affairs of Qatar like other Islamic countries. The Qatari delegation came on Thursday 5/7/1439 AH and did not sign the minutes of the Hajj Agreement for the season 1439 AH, which confirmed that the Qatari government is determined to prevent its citizens from performing Hajj for that year.
Due to the negative attitude of the Qatari authorities and their intransigence towards the inability of citizens and expatriates in Qatar to perform Hajj and Umrah in 1439 AH, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued the necessary directives to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to allocate a website to complete the applications for electronic contracting with Saudi Umrah companies authorized to provide services to Umrah performer and to choose service packages that suit their wishes like other Umrah performer from different countries of the world.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah issued a statement on 16/10/1439 AH, in which it clarified the negative position of the delegation of Hajj Affairs of Qatar and deliberately wasting time and opportunity on Qatar’s pilgrims to perform Hajj through King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, and the allocation of a website for registration of applications, which was available in the month of Dhu Al-Qaidah of the same year, where the site shows how to contract with services offices (accommodation, transport and subsistence) in Makkah and Madinah and the holy sites with the civil institution for Qatari pilgrims service, and according to their desires, like other pilgrims coming from different countries of the world, through King Abdulaziz International Airport and by any airlines but Qatar Airways.
Third: Season of 1440 AH:
According to the Custodian’s of the Two Holy Mosques directive to send a letter of invitation to the delegation of Qatar’s Hajj Affairs like other Islamic countries, Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has issued an invitation letter to the officials in charge of Hajj Affairs in Qatar on 8/6 / 1440H to discuss matters related to the organization of the arrival of Qatari pilgrims. The minute has been prepared to be signed with the Qatari side, where the number of pilgrims and the mechanism of procedures related to their arrival through the specified ports.
The Qatari delegation left the Kingdom without signing the minutes of the Hajj Agreement for the season 1440 AH.
As an extension of the Kingdom’s efforts to serve the pilgrims of various nationalities and affiliations from around the world to facilitate the access of Qatari nationals and expatriates in Qatar to perform Umrah, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has dedicated electronic portals to register the data of all interested pilgrims from Qatar.
Fourth: Statistics of the numbers of pilgrims and Umrah performers for the last seasons:
The number of pilgrims coming from Qatar in 1438 AH, is (1642) pilgrims and the number of Umrah performers is (1005).
The number of pilgrims coming from Qatar in 1439 is (365) and the number of Umrah performer is (134).
The number of the Umrah performers in 1440 AH is (125).
On the freedom of movement of Qatari people:
Entry of Qatari nationals from 10/9 / 1438H to 3/9 / 1440H. The following official data show that:
The number of Qataris entered the Kingdom reached (82462), (50324) males and (32138) females and the remaining number of them in the Kingdom is (3664).
The Human Rights Commission has also received 16 complaints in this regard until the preparation of this report. The Commission has taken the necessary measures in accordance with the regulations in coordination with the competent authorities.
On employment and renewal of work permits:
The Kingdom has taken many measures to promote the rights of labors in accordance with human rights principles. There is no discrimination in dealing with expatriates residing in the Kingdom who work for Qatari people.
Statistics of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development show that the number of enterprises owned by Qatari nationals is 50 and the number of labors is 94.
The Ministry of Labor has provided (2) transfer of services and the issuance of (1) work permit, since the beginning of the year 2019.
The General Directorate of Social Protection received a complaint from a Qatari national and services were provided to him, in accordance with the regulations and rules without any discrimination.
The claim that residence permits cannot be renewed for workers who work for Qatari brothers inside the Kingdom, resulting in penalties for these workers and Qatari citizens following the boycott decision, is not true.
The total entry and exit of residents in the Kingdom with employers of Qatari nationality and various nationalities is (191) expatriates as of 5 March 2019, and official data showed that: (171) arrivals inside the Kingdom according to the following nationalities: (47) arrivals from India (39) males whose residency is valid (8) males whose residency is expired, (45) arrivals from Sudan (34) males whose residency is valid and (11) males (39) expatriates from Pakistan (32) males whose residency is valid (7) males whose residency is expired (11) expatriates from Egypt (9) males (1) expatriates whose residence is valid and (1) expatriate with residency expired.
(8) expatriates from Bangladesh (7) males whose residency is valid, (1) the expiry of their residency (7) expatriates from Yemen (5) males (1) their expatriate residency is valid and (1) their residency expired (4) Expatriates from Mauritania (2) males whose residency is valid and (2) males whose residency is expired (3) immigrants from Ethiopia (1) male and (2) females with valid residency (3) immigrants from Nepal (2) males whose residency is valid (1) male expired residence and (2) immigrants from the Philippines with valid residency and (2) male expatriates from Eritrea and Sri Lanka whose residency is valid.
The total number of expatriates residing in the Kingdom with Qatari employers of different nationalities was (20) expatriates, according to the following nationalities: (6) male expatriates from India with valid residency (5) male expatriates from Pakistan with valid residency and (2) male expatriates (2) expatriates from Yemen (2) expatriates from Qatar with expired residency (2) expatriates from Jordan and the Philippines and expatriates from Nepal, as well.
On the right to health.
The Committee on the Humanitarian Situation of Joint Saudi-Qatari Families shall consider all applications related to health rights.
It is worth mentioning that Qatari brothers residing in the Kingdom enjoy the right to health like the Saudis. The official figures and statistics indicate that the Qatari brothers residing in the Kingdom and visitors to the Kingdom receive treatment in health care centers and government hospitals, including hospitals of the Ministry of Health and other government sectors providing service for the period from January 2017 until October 2018.
The total number of male and female beneficiaries was (3450) beneficiaries (1422) beneficiaries, respectively, in the health care centers and government hospitals of the Ministry of Health and (2028) beneficiaries in other governmental sectors that provide the service.
The following confirmed official data illustrate that:
The number of Qatari residents and visitors to the Kingdom who received treatment at the health care centers and government hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health by regions and governorates were as follows: 39 in Qassim, 5 in Hail, 649 in Riyadh and 72 in Jeddah, the northern border region (33) in Jouf (114) and in Mecca (510).
The number of Qatari residents and visitors to the Kingdom who received treatment in other governmental sectors institutions was as follows: (565) at the medical services sector of the armed forces (1079) at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh and Jeddah and (133) at hospitals and primary centers of the Ministry of Interior (66) at the health affairs of the National Guard and (185) at the university hospitals and primary centers affiliated to them.
On the right to education:
The Kingdom facilitated the passage of Saudi and Qatari students through the Kingdom’s legal outlets if they submit proof of their enrollment in the Kingdom or in Qatar.
Statistics indicate that the number of Qatari students studying in Saudi universities reached (109) and the number of students enrolled in general education reached (620) during 2019, which indicate the smooth flow of teaching and learning for these students and the stability of their educational status and confirms that the Qatari students are not affected, in terms of education.
The following official statements indicated that:
The number of Qatari male and female students in general education in the Kingdom reached (827) in 2017, including (426) male and (401) female and (643) male and female students, in 2018 including (327) male and (316) female and (620) male and female students, in 2019.
306 male and 314 female.
The number of Qatari students in the Saudi universities was as follows: (21) male and female students at Umm Al-Qura University, including (17) regular and (3) apologists and one interrupted and (4) regular at the Islamic University at the doctoral stage and (2) regular and one interrupted in King Saud University (4) regular at King Abdulaziz University (64) upgraded regular enrollment (4) interrupted at King Faisal University (2) regular students at the University of Taibah are spouses of citizens (3) regular and (3) cut off at the University of Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal and a regular student at the University of Qassim.
On international and regional conventions and treaties
The Kingdom is committed to all international and regional agreements to which it has become a party and that any Qatari citizen who enters Saudi territory in accordance with statutory procedures shall enjoy freedom of movement and residence.
The Kingdom stresses in this context that the protection of its security and the safety of its citizens is a sovereign right guaranteed by international law.
None shall illegally deported.
In light of the Kingdom’s resolute and continuous efforts to combat terrorism crimes, the Kingdom, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt boycotted the State of Qatar.
According to Riyadh complementary accord, in 2014, which is the approach on which the boycott was based on.
The measures taken to close the regional airspace for any airline are a sovereign right as a precautionary act by countries that fear the threats to their national security, a measure taken by the four countries towards (Qatar Airways) to maintain its security and protect its borders against any action, that may compromise its security.
The Qatari authorities announced a list of its own terrorism that included (19) persons and (8) entities including (11) persons who possess Qatari nationality.
The list included a number of names on the international terrorist regulations in a number of countries, including the United States of America.
Lists of the US Treasury Department, Britain and the lists of boycott countries, including Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi, who is one of the founders of the Geneva-based Alkarama Organization for Human Rights and Saad Saad Mohammed Al Kaabi and Abdul Latif Abdullah Al Kuwari who raised funds for Al Qaeda activities.
The move came nine months after the boycott, which confirms the position of the boycotting countries that they (the Qataris) support terrorism and extremism in the region.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirmed that it has been patient for a long time, despite the Doha authorities’ continued failure to fulfill their commitments and conspired against the Kingdom. However, on keenness to the interest of the brotherly Qatari people, which is a natural and genuine extension of their brothers in the Kingdom, the Kingdom will continue to support the brotherly Qatari people.
There will be no solution to this crisis unless Qatar responds to the demands of the four countries and stops supporting terrorism, embracing extremists and stopping its interventions in the internal affairs of the four countries to become a close neighbor and partner.
The solution will only be through Kuwaiti mediation and through the GCC system.
The Kingdom’s Efforts to Preserve the GCC Gains
Since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has sought to stabilize the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Its decision has not been reflected on the
representatives of the State of Qatar to the Council.
Qataris working at the GCC, as well as Qatari delegations are participating in the meetings of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where the Kingdom issued the necessary permits for the aircraft carrying them no later than 48 hours and requests have been received for the participation of delegations of Qatar during the first 6 months of 1440 AH, for more than (50) meetings and the number of applicants to participate in more than (150) participants, visas issued to them at the time.
The Gulf Summit (39) was held in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh on Sunday 2/4/1440 AH, corresponding to 9/12/2018 in the presence of all representatives and leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.
The State of Qatar was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan Al-Muraikhi. The Riyadh summit issued a declaration stating the importance of adhering to the GCC to face the challenges in the region and ensuring its strength and unity among its members.
The leaders also stressed the importance of implementing the economic agreement between the GCC countries and decided to speed up the completion and activation of the unified military command of the GCC forces and qualify the military command to perform those tasks.
For his part, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait has called to stop the media campaigns that broadcast the saw sedition and compromise the shared values, to contain the differences.
The Kingdom endeavors not to obstruct the process of the GCC system and the agreements concluded through the Council.
It has allowed Qatari delegations to participate in the meetings of the GCC, including meetings of the GCC energy affairs team in the World Trade Organization and free trade agreements and a meeting of the legal and environmental working group of other countries.
The Council to discuss the preliminary draft of the unified draft environmental law for the GCC states and the meetings of the committees charged with reviewing the unified customs system.
The delegation of Qatar participated in the meeting of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss issues related to the accession of Gulf organizations under the umbrella of the Secretariat.
Invitations, were sent to the Qatari side to attend a workshop to discuss the successful programs of the European Union in addressing youth unemployment on 16/1/2019.
The Kingdom maintains the agreements concluded within the framework of the GCC in various fields, including, but not limited to, the Joint Shield Agreement.
The Qatari delegations have recently participated in military exercises in Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom has facilitated all procedures for Qatari military delegations, as well as well as other Gulf delegations.
Saudi Press Agency