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Qatar is testing Egypt’s patience

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Published: Updated:

The recent statement made by the Qatar foreign affairs ministry holding the Egyptian government responsible for the increase of victims as a result of so called "peaceful protests" is the latest in a series of moves by Qatar to provoke Egypt.

It seems that Qatar's provocation has trespassed all limits or that Egypt is about to run out of patience. The statement issued by Qatar's rulers said: "Qatar (thinks) that the only solution in Egypt is holding dialogue among the political components of the society and state without eliminating or eradicating anyone."

Challenging Egypt's agenda

In a statement reported by a Qatari news agency, the foreign affairs ministry voiced its concern "of the increase of the number (of people) falling victims (as a result) of suppressing protests."

The ministry also said that "the decision to designate political popular movements as terrorist organizations and describing protests as terrorist acts did not succeed at stopping peaceful protests but was only a prelude to increase the policy of shoot-to-kill against protesters."

The statement added: "What happened and what's happening in Egypt is proof that the security option, mobilization and confrontation do not lead to stability."

This is how Qatar's rulers insist to flagrantly interfere in Egyptian affairs. They have completely ignored all advice conveyed to them and the commitments their emir made when he signed a document that confirmed his commitment not to interfere in Egyptian affairs and to prevent his mouthpieces from attacking the country.

More than five weeks ago, a number of Qatari businessmen who visited Egypt said relations between the two countries will witness significant development during the next upcoming weeks.

A conflict of Qatari leadership

Some say that what's happening in Egypt is a reflection of the internal struggle between the senior emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who left his post - some confirm he didn't do so willingly - and his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who replaced him with the support of his mother and other parties.

They say that the senior emir and his paternal cousin, the former prime minister, are not satisfied with the change of power and as a result are directing their men against the new emir.

They also said that the "state's deep institutions" are what is obstructing Qatar with its new leadership from acting positively towards the issue of relations with Egypt. Truth is, such statements seem to express aspirations rather than facts especially considering that Qatari behavior towards Egypt has not changed.

Qatar holding on to its stances proves that both the senior and the junior emirs agree on the situation in Egypt. Reality says that the Qatari government is greatly responsible for the terrorist and violent acts committed by the "terrorist" Muslim Brotherhood group of Egypt.

This is due to the financial and media support which Qatar is providing for the 'terrorist' group. The Egyptian government must take legal measures to address the Qatari government's participation in these actions which international law criminalizes.

Egypt's foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty said Egypt is dealing with Qatar as a brotherly country but he then added: "(Our) patience has its limits."

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on Jan. 4, 2013.

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Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

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