Coronavirus: Bahrain tells Qatar to stop meddling in repatriating process

Coronavirus: Bahrain tells Qatar to stop meddling in repatriating process
Coronavirus: Bahrain tells Qatar to stop meddling in repatriating process

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Bahrain told Qatar on Sunday to stop interfering in its repatriating process to bring its stranded citizens back home, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the region.

Doha said it flew 31 Bahrainis stranded in Iran into the country on a state-run Qatar Airways flight on Saturday and that Manama had refused to facilitate their return.

Bahrain said it had its own repatriation flights scheduled for those still stuck in Iran and that Tehran’s move to place its citizens on a commercial flight puts them at harm and exposes others to getting the disease.

“Bahrain had arranged special flights directly from Mashhad airport to Bahrain airport to in adherence to health and safety precautions,” King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s adviser and former foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa, said on Twitter.

GCC members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt, cut ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting extremists and meddling in the affairs of other states.

They also cite Qatar’s close links to Iran, which has interfered in Arab countries’ affairs and is accused of being behind terrorist plots, as one of the reasons for serving their relations.

Doha denies the accusations.

Currently there are no travel ties between Bahrain and Qatar due to the diplomatic crisis.

“Qatar must stop using a humanitarian issue as part of its plans and ongoing conspiracies against countries and its citizens,” Sheikh Khaled said.

“What Qatar has done is reprehensible and requires a clear international response,” Sheikh Khaled said.

Bahrain advised authorities in Qatar to “follow the precautionary rules and measures to protect passengers, aircraft staff in line with the International Air Transport Association systems,” Bahrain’s governmental National Communication Centre said in a statement.

Updated: March 29, 2020 09:07 PM

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