Egypt summons Qatar envoy amid MB row

Egyptians burn a Qatari flag during a protest against what they say is Qatar's backing of the ousted Islamist government. (File photo: Reuters)

Egypt summoned the Qatari ambassador in Cairo on Saturday following concerns expressed by the Gulf state over the crackdown on Islamist demonstrators.

“The Qatari ambassador was summoned over a statement by the Qatari foreign ministry,” Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Agence France-Presse.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Qatar had said the recent decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group was “a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy” against demonstrators.

A Qatari Foreign Ministry statement said: “The decision to designate popular political movements as terrorist organizations, and labeling peaceful demonstrations as terrorism, did not succeed in stopping the peaceful protests.”

“It was only a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy on demonstrators,” the statement published by state news agency QNA said. It said that “inclusive dialogue” between all sides was the only solution to Egypt’s crisis.

Tensions have mounted between both countries since the July 2013 ouster of Egypt’s former Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, whom Qatar firmly supported.

On the other hand, Egypt accuses Qatar and its Doha-based Al Jazeera television channel of backing the Muslim Brotherhood, which it declared a terrorist organization on Dec. 25. Last week, Egypt’s general prosecutor detained several journalists for 15 days for broadcasting graphics on Al Jazeera, alleging that they damaged Egypt’s reputation.

In the latest violence, 17 people were shot dead as supporters of the Brotherhood clashed with police across Egypt on Friday. The protesters had been defying a widening state crackdown on the movement that ruled the country until six months ago.

(With AFP and Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40