Qatari Emir reaffirms ‘good ties’ with Egypt
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani - AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat

CAIRO: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called on Egypt to adopt a ‘comprehensive dialogue’ that achieves political stability and reaffirms Qatar’s good ties with Cairo on Tuesday.

“We wish Egypt political stability and all the best for its people,” said Bin Hamad in his statement at the opening ceremony of the 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait, Youm7 reported.

Since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt-Qatar relations have been strained over Doha’s perceived backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qatar’s continued harboring of MB fugitives.

Democratic transition has failed in certain Arab Spring states due to the obstacles on the political scene, said Bin Hamad.

“All types of terrorism are completely condemned,” said Bin Hamad.

In early March, tension escalated among Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors to Qatar over their accusations to Doha of ‘interfering’ in other Arab states’ domestic affairs and supporting ‘terrorist organizations.’

Further, Saudi Arabia followed suit with Egypt’s decision to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Egypt had declared the decision in December, while Saudi Arabia followed early March.

Furthermore, Bin Hamad “call[ed] on Egyptian authorities to reopen the Rafah crossing for humanitarian reasons,” said Bin Hamad, who described the closure of the border crossing as ‘unacceptable.’

Egypt has been subjected to calls from various international organizations, including the United Nations, to reopen the border crossing, which is considered the only access point for food and other resources in the Gaza Strip.

However, in the past six months, militant Islamist groups killed dozens of security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula, with Egyptian authorities speculating involvements with Hamas, causing them to restrict access through the border city.

“Doha proposes to host an Arab mini-summit to achieve reconciliation among the conflicting Palestinian powers,” Bin Hamad further said, calling on the ‘conflicting’ political spectra in Palestine to reunite.

As for the Syrian crisis, Bin Hamad said the Syrian regime is to blame for the failure of Geneva II.

“The suffering of Syrian children is a disgrace for Arabs,” said Bin Hamad who called the present Arab leaders to take a common stance on regional crises.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi said that the summit could be influenced by “differences,” and that there is an urgent need for reconciliation, according to the Kuwait Al-Watan newspaper.

Kuwait, the host state of the summit, and Oman have refrained from taking sides in the current rift between the remaining GCC states

The 25th Arab League summit saw Bahrain and Saudi Arabia send their Crown Princes, while the UAE sent the ruler of Al-Fujairah Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al-Sharqi and Oman sent the Representative of Sultan Qaboos, Sayyid Assad Bin Tarek Al Saeed, according to Al-Arabiya.

Additional reporting by Mohamed el-Galy and Amal Raslan.

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