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Egypt wants a clear agreement for reconciliation with Qatar: Egyptian FM

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Dec 2020
Sameh Shoukry
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Ahram)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that Egypt wants an agreement that is clear on the obligations required from all parties in the event that reconciliation is achieved between Qatar and the so-called Arab quartet, which comprises Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

Shoukry said in a TV interview that the agreement must reinforce the principles of good neighbourliness, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, as well as avoiding anything that could sour relations between Arab nations.

“We will see what we can achieve in this matter, and as long as it achieves the best interest of the Arab countries and Egypt, it will be a major development,” Shoukry said in his first public comment on the reconciliation initiative.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Egyptian foreign ministry issued a statement expressing appreciation for the ongoing efforts by Kuwait to end the Arab rift and settle the crisis between Qatar and the Arab quartet.

“Egypt appreciates the continued efforts exerted by the emir of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti state to mend the Arab rift and settle the crisis between Qatar and the Arab quartet, which started several years ago, within the framework of Kuwait's usual role and its keenness on maintaining stability in the Arab region," the statement said.

"We hope these endeavours yield a comprehensive solution that addresses all causes of this crisis and guarantees strict and serious commitment to implementing what will be agreed upon," the ministry added.

The Arab quartet was formed in mid-2017 as a diplomatic bloc to pressure Doha to end what the four countries deemed as Qatar's interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries and its support of terrorist organisations. Doha has denied the accusations.

The four countries severed all diplomatic and transport links with Qatar in June 2017.

In recent days, Kuwait intensified its efforts to mediate a solution to end the rift between the quartet and Doha. Kuwaiti foreign minister visited Cairo three weeks ago to meet with the Egyptian president.

The US is also mediating for a resolution of the crisis, with US special envoy Jared Kushner visiting both Saudi Arabia and Qatar last week.

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that "a resolution of the crisis seems within reach.”

The Wall Street Journal has reported that a telephone call last week between US President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi addressed the reconciliation issue.

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