Egyptian Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry gives a joint press with the European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini (not shown) after an EU-Egypt Association Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on July 25, 2017. (AFP photo)
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
has rejected a call by the European Union for a compromise between a quartet of Arab states, which includes Egypt, and Qatar
in a dispute that could potentially undermine Western governments’ interest in the Persian Gulf region.
“It is not an issue of compromise, we cannot compromise with any form of terrorism, we cannot compromise or enter into any form of negotiations,” Shoukry said Tuesday after talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, referring to allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism which made Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last month to cut ties to Doha.
Shoukry again accused Qatar of supporting terrorist groups by allowing certain groups to promote their activity via the gas-rich nation’s powerful media machine.
“It is only once the necessary measures are undertaken by Qatar, that goes towards truly accepting to be a partner in the fight against terrorism, that this crisis will be resolved,” he said, adding, Qatar was “harboring elements associated to terrorist ideologies, to radical ideologies, that they have utilized their media outlets to promote and to justify and to glorify terrorist activity.”
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (R) and Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry give a joint press after an EU-Egypt Association Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on July 25, 2017. (AFP photo)
Led by Saudi Arabia, the four Arab governments has pressed Qatar to accept a list of conditions for the ties to be normalized. Those include shutting down Al Jazeera, a well-known news
channel which has been broadcasting from Doha for nearly two decades now. The Arab states have also demanded Qatar to revise ties to countries like Iran and Turkey, something Doha says would turn it into a vassal state.
During the press conference in Brussels, Mogherini, EU’s top diplomat, said the bloc would continue with efforts to bring about a rapprochement.
“The EU will continue to have good relations with all the countries involved,” she said, calling on the two sides of the conflict to accept a mediation initiative by Kuwait in order to prevent more tensions.