Friday, November 28, 2014

Foreign minister : #Qatar should support #Egypt's national security

Foreign minister calls on Qatar to respect agreements from November summit in Riyadh


Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

Cairo's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called on Qatar to adopt "supportive policies" for Egypt's national security, urging Doha to stay away from any acts that harm the country's stability.

Relations between the two countries have soured since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, as Egypt has accused the Gulf state of interfering in its affairs.

In an interview , Shoukry didn't directly blame Qatar's backing of the Brotherhood and its Islamist-oriented Al Jazeera satellite channel for the strained ties, instead saying that he will "leave the judgment to observers."

Shoukry pointed out that Egypt quickly reacted to Saudi Arabia's call for Egypt to back a recent agreement between leaders of three Gulf countries to end a months-long rift with Qatar in "appreciation to King Abdullah."

In March, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their envoys from Doha, accusing it of supporting organisations that undermine the Gulf's stability and interfering in other states' affairs.

But in a summit held in the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this month to discuss the fall out, the three Gulf states – all members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – agreed to send back their ambassadors, ending a dispute between the Arab Gulf allies.

Shoukry said that Egypt seeks to have "strong and friendly relations with its Arab brothers," calling on Qatar to abide by the arrangements reached in the Riyadh summit.

"As Egypt is eager to be an active player in protecting Arab national security, we wish and believe that all Arab countries care about Egypt's interests and security," the foreign minister said.

Egypt's top diplomat also spoke about the situation in Libya, describing the situation in the war-torn North African country as "dangerous." He referenced the initiative issued during a ministerial meeting with Libya's neighbours held in Cairo in August.

"The initiative encourages national dialogue between all parties that renounces violence and seeks the unity of Libya's territory," said Shoukry.

He argued that Libya's parliament – and the government formed of it – enjoys legitimacy, which represents the "willingness of the people based on free and democratic elections."

He said that all "international actors recognise the legitimacy" of Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni's government and called for respect for the results of Libyan ballot boxes.

Shoukry asserted that violence is still adopted by some groups that seek to "impose their will over Libyans" by using their "military achievements" as grounds to enter dialogue.

The minister said that Egypt backs the endeavours of the United Nations special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, to reach a political solution and open room for national dialogue.

Since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 uprising, Libya has failed to maintain control over armed militias that managed to remove the long-time dictator from power.