GCC con­demns claims of Qatar link to Cairo bomb

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

RIYADH: Gulf states have con­demned Egypt’s ac­cu­sa­tion of Qatari in­volve­ment in a Cairo church bomb­ing last week that killed 25 peo­ple, a state­ment from the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil said.”GCC states are up­set over drag­ging the name of mem­ber-state Qatar into this heinous crime,” the group’s Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ab­dul­latif Al-Zayani said. “This is in­ac­cept­able,” he said, warn­ing that “un­ver­i­fied state­ments could harm the strong re­la­tions be­tween the GCC and Egypt.”

In ad­di­tion to Qatar, the GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates. Its state­ment late Thurs­day came af­ter Qatar de­nied in­volve­ment in Sun­day’s deadly bomb at­tack on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church in Cairo, which was claimed by the Is­lamic State ji­hadist group. On Mon­day, Egypt ac­cused fugi­tive Mus­lim Brother­hood lead­ers who fled to Qatar of train­ing and fi­nanc­ing those re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack.

Cairo’s In­te­rior Min­istry pointed the fin­ger at sus­pect Mo­hab Mostafa ElSayed Qassem, also known as “The Doc­tor”, who trav­elled to Qatar in 2015. It said Qassem was of­fered fi­nan­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to carry out at­tacks in Egypt. Qatar dis­missed the claims as base­less, in­sist­ing that Qassem vis­ited the Gulf state just “like hun­dreds of thou­sands of oth­ers.” Sun­day’s in­ci­dent was the dead­li­est at­tack in re­cent mem­ory on Egypt’s Chris­tian mi­nor­ity, who make up about 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. The Brother­hood has de­nied any in­volve­ment. Mean­while, Al Zayani has af­firmed that the Gulf states are stand­ing side by side with Egypt in its fight against the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions. This came in Al Zayani’s state­ment, say­ing that “Egypt’s se­cu­rity is GCC mem­ber states’ se­cu­rity”. He stressed the GCC states’ firm stance against ter­ror­ism, re­fer­ring to the Gulf coun­tries’ con­dem­na­tion of bomb­ing church of St Peter in Cairo this week.—Agen­cies

Kuwait’s Am­bas­sador to Italy Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah take a group photo with other of­fi­cials dur­ing the stu­dents’ visit to FAO.— KUNA pho­tos

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