Dubai: Egypt and Bahrain ratcheted up the pressure on Qatar saying that Arab security and the fight against terrorism are paramount as a deadline in the boycott of Doha drew closer.
Cairo asked Doha to choose between defending Arab security or wrecking it to the benefit of foreign powers,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said in remarks published on Thursday.
“The Egyptian demands are clear,” Shoukri said. “He who wants to continue conspiring against Egypt and its people will be the first to be scorched by the fire of plotting,” he said before adding, “Egypt will continue to firmly stand against all forms of terrorism until it is uprooted.”
“Egypt has been dreaming for this moment, where the Saudis and everyone else are applying pressure on Qatar,” said Mokhtar Awad, a research fellow at George Washington University’s Programme on Extremism, because “Qatar has been consistently undermining the Egyptian regime.”
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar for its links with terrorist groups and individuals, and allying with region foe Iran.
The Gulf Arabs have sent Qatar a 13-point list of demands, including closure of Al Jazeera television station and downgrading ties with Iran, and insisted that its acceptance is the only solution to the dispute that is being mediated by Kuwait. The deadline expires tomorrow.
“Regarding the ten days deadline, we are working together with the Americans and the Kuwaitis in order to prepare the proper (responses) ... to the list which has been submitted to us,” Qatari Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani told reporters in Washington. “We have to set the conditions first in order to pursue these negotiations,” he said.
On Wednesday, Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, urged Qatar to choose its Arab neighbours. “As the hour of truth approaches, we call on the brother to choose his neighbours, choose honesty, truth and transparency in its dealings and to realise that the noise of the media and the heroism of ideology are just a passing illusion,” he tweeted.
In Manama, Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said the unbridled growth of terrorism can only be tackled with vigilance and decisiveness.
“We will not tolerate terrorism, which derives its funding and logistical support from some countries, to spread and threaten the security of our homeland and our citizens,” Prince Khalifa said.