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FILE PHOTO: Muslims circle the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca December 13, 2007. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji/File Photo


OSLO (Reuters) - Qatar expressed concern about the safety of its citizens in Saudi Arabia following the reopening of the countries' border enabling Qataris to attend the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said during a visit to Norway that Saudi authorities had yet to respond to queries from the Qatari Ministry of Islamic Affairs regarding the security of Qatari citizens during haj.

"The level of tension between the two nations, the language and the tone of the Saudi media spreading hatred against Qatari people represents a great concern for us," he told a news conference.

"Those people crossing the border right now are under the responsibility of the Saudi authorities for their security and safety," he said, adding that "more than 100" citizens had crossed since the border was reopened.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by John Stonestreet)

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