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Posted On: 20 February 2015 06:51 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

GCC supports Qatar, slams Egypt remarks

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The GCC states have backed Qatar and vehemently condemned Egypt for accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, at an Arab League meeting.

GCC Secretary-General Dr Abdullateef Al Zayani said in a statement yesterday that he rejects accusations by Egypt’s permanent representative at the League that Qatar supports terrorism.

Dr Al Zayani said the accusations are “unfounded, contradict reality and ignore sincere efforts of Qatar and other GCC and Arab countries to fight terrorism and extremism at all levels”.

He said the accusations do not in any way help the cause of Arab unity at a time “our countries are facing huge challenges that threaten their security, stability and sovereignty”, reports said.

Qatar recalled its ambassador to Cairo, Saif Al Muqaddam Abu Ainain, for consultations on Egypt’s statement.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Saad bin Ali Al Mohannadi, Director, Arab Affairs Department at the Foreign Ministry, confirmed Qatar’s strong condemnation of the criminal act that killed 21 Egyptians in Libya.

But he said what had been stated by Egypt’s delegate ambassador Tareq Adel was against righteousness, wisdom and principles of joint Arab action.

Al Mohannadi told Qatar News Agency that Adel must pay attention to the killing of the innocent Egyptians in Libya, adding Qatar should not be used and blamed for Egypt’s failure.

“Qatar denounces such a tense statement, which confuses the need to combat terrorism and the brutal killing and burning of civilians,” Al Mohannadi said of Egypt’s statement.

He stressed that Qatar should not be cited as a reason for any failure by the Egyptian government, as Qatar is supportive and will always remain supportive of the will of the people of Egypt and its stability.

According to GCC observers, Egypt became frustrated after its diplomacy failed to mobilise Western countries’ support to convince the UN Security Council to issue a resolution or form an international alliance to intervene in Libya on the pretext of fighting the Islamic State (IS).

An indication that Egypt wished it came from an interview President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi gave to French Radio, which got wide coverage from global news agencies.

Now, if Egypt fails to garner support of the Arab League and intervene in Libya, then it would be another major blow to its diplomacy, said the observers.

It is usual for Egypt to put the blame on Qatar for the failures of its diplomacy, they said, adding there is nothing new about the latest spate of Egyptian accusations. In frustration, it is Cairo’s tendency to accuse regional powers of backing terrorism.

Tarq Adel’s statement about Qatar expressing its reservations about Egypt’s military strikes in Libya at the Arab League meeting was uncalled for and strange.

This is because Tunisia and Algeria openly boycotted the UN Security Council session where Egypt suggested the formation of a global alliance to intervene in Libya. But Egypt didn’t say a word against these countries, argue observers.

The accusations against Qatar were not limited to Tareq Adel. They are all over the media, particularly the sections that are supportive of El Sisi, and also became viral among his (El Sisi’s) supporters.

“This might have prompted Qatar to recall its ambassador from Cairo for consultations as a gesture to let it be known that Doha rejects such behaviour,” said one observer.

Meanwhile, Mohannadi also stressed Qatar’s reservation on a paragraph which was issued in a press statement by the consultative meeting of the Arab League Council at the level of permanent delegates related to welcoming the air strike carried out by the Egyptian armed forces as it was in line with joint Arab action, which requires that there be consultation between Arab countries before one member state launches unilateral military action in another member state — which might lead to harming civilians.

With regard to the reservation about the item on lifting of the ban on arms sales to Libya, Al Mohanadi said Qatar’s position was clearly stated at the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting on January 15, 2015 calling for the principle of not strengthening one conflicting party against another before the end of the dialogue and the formation of a national unity government which would have the right to request lifting the ban on behalf of the Libyan people, reported Qatar News Agency.