GCC supports Egyptian ‘fight against terrorism’

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council has backtracked on criticism of Egypt in its row with bloc member Qatar over Libya, in a move Asharq Al-Awsat daily said Friday reflected divisions among member states.

The GCC member states have now voiced their support for Egypt’s fight against terrorism.

In a statement, Gulf states said they were supporting measures taken by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi in “all areas,” in reference to the Egyptian president’s recent decision to bomb IS targets in Libya.

The GCC said Egypt had the right to protect its security. “The security of Egypt is part of the Gulf security,” the statement said.

The GCC said the situation in the region required “close relationship” between brothers.

Earlier, the GCC voiced support for Qatar in its row with Egypt, which accused Doha of supporting “terrorism” during discussions about Cairo’s airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Libya, according to AFP.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani “rejects accusations by Egypt’s permanent envoy at the Arab League that Qatar supports terrorism,” said an earlier GCC statement.

In the later statement, he said: “GCC states have stressed their full support to Egypt and its brotherly people in fighting terrorism and protecting its citizens at home and abroad.”

Asharq Al-Awsat daily said Al-Zayani’s earlier statement, which was carried by Gulf state media including SPA, was issued without consulting all six GCC members.

The newspaper said some members voiced disagreement with the content, and that the second statement was issued to express the “real position” of the bloc. Qatar has recalled its ambassador to Egypt.


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