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Egypt, Bahrain Say Qatar Isolated for Harming Arab Security | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) speaks with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa before the opening of the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Cairo – Following talks on Wednesday with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riaydh, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa continued his regional tour and arrived in Cairo on Thursday on a two-day official visit, during which he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

In a statement issued following the meeting, the two leaders announced that the decision to cut ties with Qatar came as a result of Doha’s insistence on taking an anti-Arab stance.

The statement said the Bahraini king and the Egyptian president discussed latest developments, noting that severing ties with Doha came only after attempts to dissuade it from supporting terrorist organizations.

They added that Qatar has insisted on intervening in the internal affairs of Egypt, Bahrain and other Arab countries.

According to the statement, the two sides agreed on the importance of cooperation to strengthen joint Arab action, underlining the need to establish relations between Arab countries on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in each others’ internal affairs.

Meanwhile, Egypt called on the United Nations Security Council to launch an investigation into accusations that Qatar paid a ransom of up to $1 billion “to a terrorist group active in Iraq” to release kidnapped members of its royal family.

“It is everywhere in the news that Qatar paid up to $1 billion to a terrorist group active in Iraq in order to release members of its royal family,” senior Egyptian UN diplomat Ihab Moustafa Awad Moustafa told the Security Council, as reported by Reuters.

“This violation of the Security Council resolutions, if proved correct, shall definitely have a negative bearing on counterterrorism efforts on the ground,” he said. “We propose that the council launch a comprehensive investigation into this incident and other similar incidents,” he added.

Also on Thursday, Sisi met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who is currently on a visit to Egypt.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the officials reviewed bilateral relations and discussed the latest developments in the region. Talks also touched on international efforts to combat terrorism.

Egypt’s presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said the two officials underlined the need to promote cooperation to resolve regional crises.