Egypt says Qatar détente not on Arab summit agenda

By Faisal al-Matni, Sunday, March 23, 2014

Egypt's interim authorities accuse Qatar of intervening in Egyptian affairs, but Doha categorically denies the charge

Egypt's interim authorities accuse Qatar of intervening in Egyptian affairs, but Doha categorically denies the charge

KUWAIT CITY – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi said on Sunday that reconciliation with Qatar is not on the official agenda of the Arab summit, which will start in Kuwait on Tuesday.

"For relations to go back on track there must be a radical change in political positions," Fahmi told a press conference following a meeting of Arab foreign ministers.

He cited "major differences" between Cairo and Doha that need time to be sorted out if there is a political will.

"We will monitor things, but nobody should raise expectations that this could be achieved during the summit," insisted Fahmi.

Relations between Cairo and Doha worsened following last year's ouster of elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi by the army.

Egypt's interim authorities accuse Qatar of intervening in Egyptian affairs, but Doha categorically denies the charge.

Fahmi said Egypt had asked Qatar to hand over some wanted persons, adding that Doha is yet to respond.

Earlier on the day, Arab foreign ministers prepared the agenda of the two-day Arab summit, which will kick off Tuesday.

Middle East peacemaking, the war in Syria and the deteriorating situation in Yemen, Lebanon and Libya are expected to top the agenda of the Arab leaders in Kuwait.

Thirteen Arab heads of state have so far confirmed participation in the two-day meeting, considered by many to be the pinnacle of diplomatic, economic, and social cooperation among Arab countries.

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