Qatar dispute is with ‘majority of Arab countries’: Egypt

Joel Gulhane
2 Min Read
Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani will attend Egypt’s economic summit despite conflict (AFP File Photo)
Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani  (AFP File Photo)
Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
(AFP File Photo)

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated that Wednesday’s decision by three Gulf States to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar shows that the dispute is not just with Egypt but “between Qatar and the majority of Arab countries.”

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all recalled their ambassadors due to what they see as Qatar’s interference in their internal affairs.

Spokesman for Egypt foreign ministry, Badr Abdelatty said on Wednesday that Egypt’s ambassador has been in Cairo since “early February” adding that it was a “political and sovereign decision”. He added that this was down to “objective reasons, including continuous interference in the internal affairs of the country, and the non-delivery of the Egyptians wanted for criminal prosecution, as well as satellite television broadcasts of lies and fabrications concerning developments of the situation in the country.”

Abdelatty said that the decision of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar “shows these sister states’ rejection and reservations to the attitudes and policies” of Qatar.

Qatar was a strong supporter of Egypt while Mohamed Morsi was president, however relations have soured since the Islamist president was removed from power in July 2013.

Egypt summoned the Qatari ambassador in January to express its opposition to criticism from Qatari officials. Egypt also requested that the Qatari authorities hand over Asssem Abdel Maged, who is wanted on charges of murder; inciting violence and terrorism; and the establishment, funding and arming of a gang to assault citizens. An arrest warrant was issued for him in July.

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Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane