The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has rejected Egypt's statements which linked Qatar—a GCC member state—to 11 December's church bombing in Cairo, describing these accusations as “unacceptable,” Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Thursday.
In a statement, Secretary-General of the GCC Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani warned against "haste in releasing accusatory statements, which could negatively affect the close ties between the GCC and Egypt," urging the countries to communicate through official channels before releasing any statements.
On Monday, Egyptian authorities accused the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation of involvement in Sunday’s bombing of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Cairo, which left 25 dead and more than 40 injured.
Egypt's interior ministry said in a statement broadcast on state TV that the suspected mastermind behind the attack, Mohab Moustafa El-Sayed Kassem, had travelled to Qatar in 2015, where he met and conspired with members of the Muslim Brotherhood residing in the Gulf country.
Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Doha rejects having its name mentioned in connection with the bombing.
The Qatari foreign ministry confirmed that Kassem had legally visited Qatar in December last year, but denied any wrongdoing on the part of the Qatari government towards Egypt.
The Qatari statement added that Doha has strongly condemned and denounced the terrorist attack.
The Egyptian statement said that Kassem returned from Qatar to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt with full financial and logistical assistance from the Brotherhood.
The Islamic State militant group claimed on Tuesday responsibility for the bombing in a statement published on its affiliated news outlet AMAQ.
Egypt-Qatar relations have witnessed tensions since the 2013 ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a who had close relations with the Qatari government.
Cairo has accused Doha of harbouring fugitive leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been convicted on various criminal charges in Egyptian courts.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in 2013.