First Published: 2017-09-07

Qatar waives visa requirement for Moroccans
Qatari PM announces his country has removed obligation for Moroccan citizens to obtain entry visa.
Middle East Online

Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani

RABAT - Morocco has been added to a list of countries whose citizens no longer need visas to enter Qatar, official Moroccan media has said.

Qatar, hit by a land and air embargo imposed by a group of its most powerful neighbours, in early August introduced a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani, who met a Moroccan delegation in Doha on Tuesday, announced that his country "had removed the obligation for Moroccan citizens to obtain a visa", Morocco's official MAP news agency said the same day.

Morocco and Lebanon are so far the only two Arab countries to benefit from the policy, although fellow members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council still in theory have visa-free access to the gas-rich emirate.

Regional kingpin Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of bankrolling Islamist extremist groups and being too close to Riyadh's arch-rival Tehran.

Doha denies the charges.

The four Arab states have imposed an embargo on Qatar, recalling their diplomats and banning the emirate from using their airspace or ports.

Morocco traditionally has close strategic ties with Gulf states. It has remained neutral in the recent crisis, offering to act as a mediator.

The Moroccan delegation was visiting Qatar Tuesday to attend the official opening of a new $7.4 billion port Doha said would help to "break the shackles" of the three-month-old boycott.

The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, as well as Kuwait and Oman.

 

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation