Qatari ambassador given 48 hours to leave Egypt

Qatari ambassador given 48 hours to leave Egypt
The Qatari ambassador in Cairo was summoned and given 48 hours to leave the country after Egypt and several Gulf states cut all ties to the gas-rich nation.
3 min read
05 June, 2017
The escalation is likely to have wide-ranging consequences [Anadolu]

Egypt has given the Qatari ambassador to Cairo just 48 hours to leave the country and has recalled its senior representative in Doha, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

"The Qatari ambassador was summoned today and given formal notification of the expiry of his accreditation as an ambassador to Egypt, and was given 48 hours to leave the country," a statement from the foreign ministry said.

An earlier statement by the ministry said Egypt was also suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security concerns.

In addition, at least two state-owned banks in Egypt halted transactions in Qatari riyals, the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper reported.

However, the riyal was still listed on the Central Bank of Egypt's website among a list of currencies local banks are allowed to use for transactions.

Gulf states Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, plus Egypt and Yemen on Monday announced they were cutting all ties with gas-rich Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic rift in the region for years.

Qatar has long denied any support of extremists, and accused its Gulf neighbours of seeking to put the country under "guardianship".

In a statement published by Qatar's foreign ministry, authorities said the decision, which it claims was clearly pre-meditated, "is based on baseless fabricated claims".

"Qatar has been the target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies, which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the state," the statement said.

Doha reaffirmed its dedication to the Gulf Co-operation Council and said it respected the sovereignty of all other member states and had not interfered in their "internal affairs", as has been alleged.

"Qatar is also dedicated to its obligation in the war on terrorism and extremism. It is clear that the media campaign against Qatar has failed, especially in Gulf nations, which explains this escalation," it said, adding, "the fabrication" of a media crisis used to increase pressure against it is evidence that there are "no legitimate causes to take the decision to cut ties".

"The goal is clear, enforcing guardianship over our country which is a blatant violation of our sovereignty, which is completely unacceptable. The statement released by the three GCC nations makes it clear that the relentless fabricated media campaign against Qatar was pre-planned."

The escalation is likely to have wide-ranging consequences, not just for Qatar and its citizens but around the Middle East and for Western interests.

Monday's announcement came less than a month after US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia to cement ties with Riyadh, where he called for a united front among Muslim countries against extremism.

It also followed weeks of rising tensions between Doha and its neighbours, including Qatari accusations of a concerted media campaign against the country and the alleged hacking of the Qatar News Agency.

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