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Egypt Summons Qatari Ambassador Amid Row Over Brotherhood

Egypt summons the Qatari ambassador in Cairo following concerns expressed by the Gulf state over the crackdown on Islamist demonstrators.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/5/2014, 4:01 AM

Morsi supporters clash with riot police in Cairo
Morsi supporters clash with riot police in Cairo
Reuters

Egypt summoned the Qatari ambassador in Cairo on Saturday, following concerns expressed by the Gulf state over the crackdown on Islamist demonstrators, reported Al Arabiya.

“The Qatari ambassador was summoned over a statement by the Qatari foreign ministry,” Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty was quoted as having said.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Qatar had said the recent decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group was “a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy” against demonstrators.

“The decision to designate popular political movements as terrorist organizations, and labeling peaceful demonstrations as terrorism, did not succeed in stopping the peaceful protests,” the statement said, according to Al Arabiya.

“It was only a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy on demonstrators,” the statement published by state news agency QNA said, adding that “inclusive dialogue” between all sides was the only solution to Egypt’s crisis.

The already tense situation in Egypt has deteriorated in the past week, since the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters. The government has been engaging in a wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.

Tensions have mounted between Qatar and Egypt since the July 2013 ouster of Egypt’s former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, whom Qatar firmly supported.

Egypt accuses Qatar and its Doha-based Al Jazeera television channel of backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Last week, Egypt’s general prosecutor detained several journalists for 15 days for broadcasting graphics on Al Jazeera, alleging that they damaged Egypt’s reputation.

In the latest violence, 17 people were shot dead as supporters of the Brotherhood clashed with police across Egypt on Friday. The protesters had been defying a widening state crackdown on the movement that ruled the country until six months ago.