Egyptian regime wants the Security Council to investigate Qatar over Iraq ransom payment

Egyptian regime wants the Security Council to investigate Qatar over Iraq ransom payment
Egypt's regime is using its seat at the Security Council to incite against Qatar, as the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar continues to escalate
2 min read
09 June, 2017
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE cut ties with Qatar on Monday. [Getty]

Egypt's regime on Thursday urged the United Nations to investigate allegations that Qatar paid a ransom of up to $1 billion to a "terrorist group" in Iraq to secure the release of kidnapped members of its royal family.

The move appears part of a coordinated campaign which saw Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others sever diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

The four countries issued a joint statement on Friday placing 59 individuals and 12 entities - Qatar based or funded by Qatar - on a "terror list".

"It is everywhere in the news that Qatar paid up to $1 billion to a terrorist group active in Iraq in order to release members of its royal family," senior Egyptian UN diplomat Ihab Moustafa Awad Moustafa claimed to the Security Council.

"This violation of the Security Council resolutions, if proved correct, shall definitely have a negative bearing on counterterrorism efforts on the ground," he said.

"We propose that the council launch a comprehensive investigation into this incident and other similar incidents."

"Egypt is taking advantage of its membership of the Security Council to incite against a sisterly Arab country...a humiliating, shameful and treasonous position," Mustafa Lashin, member of the Egyptian opposition April 6 Movement, told The New Arab.

A Qatari diplomat said the country abides by all UN Security Council resolutions on countering terrorism, including eradicating sources of financing for terrorism, Reuters reported.

Qatar has denied paying ransom money to secure the release of 26 Qataris, including prominent members of the royal family, who were kidnapped by Iraqi Shia militiamen in December 2015 during a hunting trip.

After long negotiations - and complicated arrangements involving rebel and regime forces in Syria – the hostages were released in April 2017.

Agencies contributed to this report.