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Fresh rules for Qatar visas

Bahrain News
Sat, 25 Aug 2018
By Sandeep Singh Grewal

ENTRY visas will be issued to members of Bahraini-Qatari joint families, under specific conditions, the Interior Ministry announced yesterday.

However, the number of individuals to be given exceptions would be limited as part of efforts to protect Bahraini society, said a statement.

The special cases and mechanisms to be applied would be determined later.

“The specific regulations will include observation of the movement of money, especially in such circumstances.”

The ministry had announced on Tuesday that Qatari citizens would no longer be allowed into Bahrain, with the exception of Qatari students and Qatari nationals currently holding valid Bahraini visas.

The ban followed “irresponsible and hostile acts of Qatari authorities against Bahrain”.

In November last year, Bahrain had imposed entry visas on Qatari nationals and residents living in Qatar. A special hotline, 17399821, was launched for members of Bahraini-Qatari families to register their details.

The GDN reported at the time that the hotline processed all requests related to travel required for essential matters like deaths and weddings of first-degree relatives, travel for work and medical treatment.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, known as the Arab Quartet, severed ties with Qatar in June last year, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and being close to Iran.

Collective action against Qatar saw land, air and sea borders closed, with the four countries also banning Qatar Airways flights.

Bahrain also ordered hotels and restaurants to cease broadcasts of Doha-based Al Jazeera, withdrew Bahraini diplomats from Doha, expelled Qatari diplomats and ordered Qataris to leave the country.

The Arab Quartet presented 13 demands to Doha through Kuwait, which included closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting the Al Jazeera television network, to lift the boycott – but the demands have still not been met.