Egypt's Foreign Minister blames Qatar for 'human suffering' in Syria, Libya

Egypt's FM: Qatar's response is disappointing
Egypt's FM: Qatar's response is disappointing

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Story highlights

  • Qatar response to demands "void of substance": Egypt foreign minister
  • Al Jazeera "glorifies terrorist activities"

Abu Dhabi, UAE (CNN)Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has blamed Qatar for "human suffering" in Syria and Libya in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Shoukry said Qatar's "supporting radical organizations" helped to "reinforce" a wider network of extremism responsible for violence against minorities in Egypt and terrorism in Europe.
    "We see the level of damage and the level of human suffering that has been associated to interventions like Qatar in Syria and Libya and the heavy price that Egypt has to pay in the loss of civilian life," said Shoukry.
    "The last instance being the tragic events of the Egyptian Christians on their way to monastery for prayer that were targeted so brutally by terrorists."
    Qatar did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
    Egypt is part of a quartet of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia boycotting Qatar over alleged ties to terrorism. The countries suspended diplomatic relations and cut off land, sea and air travel to Qatar in early June. Qatar has rejected those accusations.
    The small Gulf state had until Wednesday to meet a list of 13 demands from the four countries, including reducing ties with Iran and halting construction of a Turkish military base in the country.
    Qatar responded within the agreed time frame, but Shoukry said Qatar's answers were "overall negative and lacked any substance," and the boycott would continue.
    The quartet issued another statement Thursday saying Qatar's rejection of the demands reflected "the extent to which they are linked to terrorism and its continued attempt to sabotage, undermine security and stability, in the Gulf and the region."
    The statement said the quartet would take "all political, economic and legal measures" to preserve the countries' "rights, security and stability towards a hostile Qatari government policy."
    The quartet also accused Qatar of leaking the list of 13 demands in an effort to thwart Kuwait's attempts to mediate the dispute.
    The list included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network.
    Asked if closing the media service continued to be a precondition by the quartet to ending the boycott, Shoukry told CNN: "I'm not going to comment directly on the specificities of the demands, but I will note that the Qatari government has potentially distorted many of them to try to extract sympathy or support from various organizations."
    The Egyptian foreign minister went on to say that media outlets in Qatar were guilty of "glorifying terrorist activities."

    'Against international law'

    In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani dismissed the demands as "against the international law."
    Qatari FM responds to Saudi Arabia demands
    intv amanpour Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani_00000114

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    In remarks made to London-based Chatham House on Wednesday, al-Thani said the demands were tantamount to "surrendering (Qatar's) sovereignty."
    "Clearly the blockading countries did not submit their demands with the expectation that they would provide a framework for resolving their differences with Qatar," he said in his address to the think tank.
    Shoukry told CNN on Thursday that Qatar's response to the demands was "totally void of any substance."