Egypt Ends “Privileges”, “Exceptions” Extended to Qatar

Cairo has announced that it is taking tougher decisions against Qatar due to the Emirate’s stubbornness to comply with the demands submitted by the Saudi-led boycotting bloc.

Spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid highlighted that continuing to give “privileges” to Qatar and its nationals “in light of its current positions” is contradictory to the ongoing diplomatic rift.

“It does not make sense to keep making exceptions for Qatar,” he said as he revealed that Qataris will be obliged to have a visa to enter Egypt as of July 20. Qatari nationals married to Egyptians, born to Egyptian mothers or studying in the North African country will be exempted from the new regulation.

The decision comes on the heels of a meeting in Cairo Monday between the Egyptian foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sabah al-Khalid.

According to Zeid, during the meeting, Cairo affirmed its “commitment to the list of demands presented to the State of Qatar and the continuation of sanctions taken against it” because it has failed to end its alleged support to terrorist groups.

He added that Egypt and its Gulf allies, namely Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, see Doha’s stance on the matter as a “stalling and procrastination” reflecting its “lack of concern over the concerns of the four states.”

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi on his part told the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister that he appreciated Kuwait’s mediation in the dispute, but that Egypt would not let anyone interfere in its affairs and would stand strong against policies that support “terrorism”, his spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement.

Kuwait is spearheading mediation efforts between Qatar and the group of four. Some western countries such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States are also engaged in shuttle diplomacy to end the rift.

Qatar, which strongly rejects the terrorism support allegations, has refrained from taking reciprocity measures against the quartet states. Qatar is reportedly hosting hundreds of thousands of Egyptians workers.

 

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