Doha, February 19: Qatar said on Thursday it has recalled its ambassador to Cairo for consultations following an Egyptian official’s statement accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. “The state of Qatar recalled its ambassador to Cairo for talks following the statements made by Egypt’s envoy at the Arab League,” the official Qatar News Agency reported, citing a Qatari foreign ministry source.
Earlier, Saad ben Ali Almohady, a Qatari foreign ministry official in charge of Arab affairs, rejected the Egyptian statement by Tariq Adel, as “mixing terrorism with the murder and burning of civilians in a barbaric manner”. The official repeated Doha’s reservations over an Arab League statement welcoming Egyptian air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets inside Libya following the release of video footage purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptians by one of the extremist group’s affiliates in Libya, Xinhua reported.
Egypt said the air strikes were conducted with the consent of and coordition with Libyan authorities. Saqer al-Joroushi, head of the Libyan air force, told Egyptian state TV that the air raids were conducted at the request of Libya and that dozens of suspected IS militants were killed in the strikes.
Qatar, for its part, says such actions can only take place after a meeting among Arab League member states. “They are in parallel with the policies and procedures of cooperative Arab work which dictate there first take place a meeting to discuss amongst Arab tions before one of them undertakes a solo military move upon another member state which could lead to undue damage to innocent civilians,” Almohady, the Qatar foreign ministry official, said. In a related development Thursday, Abdullateef Al Zayani, general secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council, rejected as “baseless” the Egyptian accusation that Qatar supports terrorism.
Zayani said in a statement that the allegations “ignore the sincere efforts of Qatar with other Gulf countries to fight terrorism and extremism at all levels as well as the support of joint Arab work.” (IANS)