Qatar’s foreign minister said Sunday his country had never given aid to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and that all assistance went to Egypt as a whole.
“As far as Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, there are some wrong impressions about the aid Qatar is providing,” said Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, whose country is perceived as a backer of the embattled Islamist group.
“Qatar has never given aid to an Egyptian group or an Egyptian political party. The aid has always been provided to Egypt,” he told journalists in Paris after meeting French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
“Qatari aid began immediately after the revolution and continues today,” he added, referring to the Arab Spring uprising that overthrew long-time Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
“We do not give aid to any political party.”
Qatar on Wednesday forcefully condemned the crackdown by Egyptian security forces on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
More than 750 people were killed in four days after the military and police launched a blistering crackdown on Islamist protest camps, sparking international condemnation.
Since the Egyptian army ousted Morsi last month amid massive protests against his rule, Qatar has repeatedly voiced solidarity with the Islamist leader’s camp.
Attiyah called for a “dialogue between all Egyptians” to bring an end to the crisis, a message echoed by his French counterpart.
“What’s evident to everyone who’s following the situation in Egypt is how quickly the bloodshed needs to be stopped and to be able to open an inter-Egyptian dialogue. It’s not easy but all countries must advance in that direction,” Fabius said.
“It’s important we mobilise our energy so that Egyptians find a solution,” he added. “No one — not Qatar, not France, not any country — can impose a solution. It’s up to the Egyptians to make their decisions.”
Fabius confirmed European foreign ministers would soon meet in Brussels to discuss the Egypt crisis, giving a time frame of “undoubtedly toward mid-week.”
Senior European Union diplomats are to hold emergency talks on Egypt on Monday and prepare the ground for a possible extraordinary meeting of the EU’s 28 foreign ministers.
On Sunday, EU leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso said the bloc would “urgently review” ties with Egypt’s army and government unless the bloodshed ends.