Commercial dhows anchor at the bay of Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
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On the first anniversary of a bitter Gulf diplomatic rift, Qatar's foreign minister Tuesday declared his country stronger than ever and said it was open to dialogue with its regional rivals.Al-Thani said the "door is still open for dialogue" between the Gulf rivals.However, he also told Qatar state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera on Tuesday that Doha would continue with its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence missile system.The Saudi government on Tuesday confirmed Qataris wishing to undertake the umrah pilgrimage to Mecca were welcome, but accused the Qatari authorities of a "negative attitude".Since the start of the crisis, Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of politicising religious pilgrimages to Mecca, including the annual hajj, one of Islam's five pillars, which every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey is obliged to undertake at least once.
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