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Cairo Calls for Expelling Qatar from Coalition to Combat ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesperson of Egypt’s Foreign Ministry. (Reuters)

Cairo – The US-led coalition against ISIS should not have member states that support terrorism, Egypt said in reference to Qatar during a coalition meeting held in Washington.

“It is unacceptable for the coalition to include member states that support terrorism or advocate it in their media,” said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid, who is heading the Egyptian delegation in Washington.

“The decision by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to boycott Qatar – a coalition member – is in accordance with that principle,” he said in a statement.

Following the meetings of the working group on the coalition’s media and communication strategy, Abu Zeid said that they have taken place at a pivotal time and a very important period after the Iraqi government officially announced the liberation of Mosul from the grip of ISIS and in the wake of the Arab-Islamic-US summit that was held in Riyadh in May.

Abu Zeid said that these factors establish a new stage and pave the way for pushing international efforts to eliminate the ideas of extremism and terrorism in all their forms. This clear vision and comprehensive approach is consistent with the Egyptian view of the inevitability of a comprehensive confrontation with terrorism, which was expressed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi at the Riyadh summit.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Egypt stressed that the military and field victory against ISIS, as important as it is, “must extend to eliminate all terrorist and extremist organizations and the sources that support them through money, arms, political and media cover or through providing safe haven for them.”

The Egyptian spokesman said the decision of the four countries to boycott Qatar was a result of the latter’s support of extremist and terrorist groups in the region, especially in Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as providing media platforms to glorify terrorist acts and sympathize with terrorism.

He denounced “the desperate defense of some sides of al-Jazeera satellite station, which hides under the cloak of freedom of expression in order to spread poisonous ideas and incite violence and terrorism.”

He cited al-Jazeera’s hosting of Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the leader of the Nusra Front, on more than one occasion, and support of Youssef al-Qaradawi, who condones suicide attacks against civilians.