Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour said on Tuesday that “he hopes anyone who stands on the wrong side of history will reconsider and join everyone else as Arab brothers,” in what was widely understood as a reference to Qatar.
Mansour used his speech at the Arab League summit in Kuwait to call for a united front against terrorism.
During his speech, Mansour said, “Egyptian people will not forget those who supported them during difficult times. We are close to fulfilling the roadmap, thus establishing state institutions.”
Mansour believes that “not interfering in others’ internal affairs and supporting each country’s internal decisions, not searching for power and influence that only damage our bonds” are all necessary for progress in the Arab world.
In January, Egypt summoned its ambassador in Qatar for talks, in response to what it called “unacceptable Qatari intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs.”
The Qatari Foreign Ministry had issued a statement expressing concerns about “the increasing number of victims in protests and the mounting number of deaths in Egypt… and labeling political movements as terrorist groups,” a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed by Egypt’s government in late December.
Early in March, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain issued a statement announcing the withdrawal of their ambassadors from Qatar and threatened to expel Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic union of Gulf states that also includes Oman and Kuwait.
Privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm meanwhile reported that former assistant foreign minister, ambassador Hussein Haridi, said that this year’s Arab League summit could serve as a positive step towards reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar.
“The differences between Qatar and Egypt over the Brotherhood should not by any means affect the relationship between them… We don’t object to countries who seek dialogue, but we’re not going to stand by terrorists or violent entities,” Haridi added.
Mansour insisted that terrorism is a very real threat to all Arab countries.
“The blood of our children was spilled at the hands of groups that do not respect the sanctity of this country or religion. This will only make us more adamant to completely eradicate this danger from the region,” he added.
He also urged Arab countries to “stand in one line in the face of terrorism” and to “quickly enforce the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism,” which stipulates an active extradition program to hand over people whose arrest was ordered by any signatory state, and not providing shelter or support to those who take up arms against their own people.