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Friday, September 17, 2021

Qatar recalls ambassador to Egypt over remarks that it supports terrorism

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With reporting from Heba Fahmy

Diplomatic tensions have again flared up between Qatar and Egypt, this time over escalating violence in Libya.

Early this morning, Qatar announced through its state news agency that it was recalling its ambassador to Cairo “for consultations” over an inflammatory statement made by Egypt’s delegate to the Arab League.

Such moves are generally used to publicly display diplomatic disapproval between countries.

The charge came after Qatar expressed reservations about a clause in a joint Arab League communique that welcomed Egypt’s recent air strikes on ISIL targets in Libya.

Qatar News Agency’s statement did not repeat the offending comments.

But according to Egypt’s state television network, Egyptian Arab League delegate Tariq Adel said that Qatar’s hesitation was about ”Egypt’s legitimate right to defend itself,” and revealed Doha’s “supportive stance of terrorism.”

He said he wasn’t surprised at the position taken by Qatar, which is ”constantly taking stances opposing Egypt,’’ adding that Doha’s position deviated from the “Arab consensus.”

Air strikes

Earlier this week, ISIL released a video depicting the execution of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya. In response, Egypt launched air raids on militant camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in the neighboring country.

While Cairo lauded the operation as a success, footage aired by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera showed evidence that civilians were injured in Egypt’s air raids:

In a statement released early this morning, Qatar ambassador Saad bin Ali Al Mohannadi, director of the country’s Arab affairs department, said that there should be consultations between Arab League members before one country launches unilateral military action that could result in civilian casualties in another member state.

He also condemned the killing of the Egyptians at the hands of ISIL, but added that:

“Qatar should not be mentioned as a reason for any failure by the Egyptian government. The State of Qatar denounces such a tense statement, which confuses the need to combat terrorism and the brutal killing and burning of civilians.”

Two steps back

The latest diplomatic rift comes at a time when strained relations between Qatar and Egypt had appeared to be improving.

Qatar and Egypt flag
Qatar and Egypt flag

The two countries had been at odds following the 2013 ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

Qatar has supported Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood political party, which Egypt subsequently declared a terrorist organization.

Relations continued to fray after Qatar condemned Cairo’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Meanwhile, Egypt demanded that the Gulf country extradite prominent Islamic cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is an Egyptian-born naturalized Qatari citizen who has repeatedly denounced the military-backed Egyptian government.

But in recent months, there had been signs that tensions between the two countries were dissipating.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with a special envoy representing Qatar’s Emir in December, which was followed by an announcement that Doha-based Al Jazeera Media Network – which some had accused of carrying a pro-Muslim Brotherhood editorial bias – would suspend its Egypt-focused channel, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr.

A file photo of the three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.
A file photo of the three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

Additionally, Egypt released from prison two Al Jazeera journalists out on bail and freed another outright after the trio spent more than a year in custody on disputed charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The moves came amid a Saudi-brokered effort the mend relations between the two countries led by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who died last month. His passing raised questions in the Egyptian media over whether reconciliation efforts would continue.

Qatar and Egypt had previously found themselves supporting opposing camps in Libya. Over the summer, military planes from Egypt and the UAE bombed fighters in Tripoli that were believed to be part of a faction that received arms and financial support from Qatar.

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Edited my comment given 99% it would get deleted.

It was questioning the article bias and the relation of the contributing writer to Egypt … Heba Fahmy .. It is wrong of me to assume a name like Heba Fahmy is Egyptian and it is wrong to assume the story may not be accurate due to my precieved notion of the writer’s nationality I’m sorry Dohanews

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

That’s offensive! Or defensive! 🙂 Btw is Qaradawi still alive? Haven’t seen him on the news for a while. I do hope he’s ok.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

No idea I don’t care for the man let alone follow him

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Wow, now I wish that I could go to IHOP with you; very nicely handled and expressed.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

ps to clairfy

The charge came after Qatar expressed reservations about a clause in a joint Arab League communique that welcomed Egypt’s recent air strikes on ISIL targets in Libya.

Qatar News Agency’s statement did not repeat the offending comments.

That statement is very deciving of you and directs your reader to draw conclusions based on your presumptions

Qatar did not reject it cause egypt targeted isil Qatar rejected that any arab country militarly targeting a different arab country on its own without the agreement of the arab league or UN or even consultation … Egypt has all the right to do whatever it wants … But what is in question was did egypt attack isil location in Libya or used this an opportunity to hit on different factions and area of Libya which opposed the egyptian backed parties in Libya

Get ur facts straight

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

So far we’ve gotten flak from you and from an Egyptian fellow on Twitter, both saying our article is biased (but somehow in different directions). This story makes it pretty clear that Qatar opposes military action without consultation. QNA is also very clear that it recalled its ambassador due to Egypt’s remarks.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

flak
flak/
noun
antiaircraft fire.
synonyms: antiaircraft fire, shelling, gunfire;

strong criticism.
“you must be strong enough to take the flak if things go wrong”
synonyms: criticism, censure, disapproval, disapprobation, hostility, complaints;

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You do expect flak if you launch an airstike!

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I agree with everything you wrote, but in the name of accuracy I would make a small change. I would change the last sentence to read “.. hit on different factions and area of Libya which Qatar supports”. Frankly, wouldn’t that more accurately reflect the situation?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

That’s correct

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

I hope the DN article is simply badly written. I have believed from the outset that Qatar does not support ISIS or ISIL – should I now change my mind? Qatar must have known what reaction their withdrawal of the ambassador would provoke

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

I have just seen on Al Jazeera that the GCC Council rejected Egypt’s baseless allegations. I can sense a real change in the attitudes of the GCC towards Egypt.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

There goes egypt credit line

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

They’re biting the hand that feeds them. Egypt won’t enjoy being forced to pay back their billions of debt to the GCC in a few months.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

I can tell you Egypt will not even repay half of what it got from them. It simply does not have enough resources to pay. And the GCC governemnts will not enter into a confrontation with Egypt over the repayment even if relations between them and Egypt becomes disastrous. They cannot afford to show themselves as “stupid” in front of their people.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

Yeah, and if they choose not to pay? Oh well.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

they will take from russia and clear their loans with saudi

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Lots of different stuff in this. Qatar supported various factions in Libya as well as Egypt and learnt as the Americans did there are no real friends out there. They got burnt and the new emir pulled back on foreign adventures. Good move.

The other probem is that Qatar does not support terrorism directly but some of its citizens do and some are sympathetic to various Islamic groups. The sort you wouldn’t invite for Karak.

As for Egypt no one should take lessons from a military dictatorship. Their best years were 3000 years ago, they just add to the instability in the region

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