• Egypt delegate to Arab League criticises Qatar’s reservation over air strike on Libya
  • Qatar-Egypt relations had been improving

Qatar has recalled its ambassador in Cairo for “consultations”, following arguments surrounding Egypt’s air strike against Libya, according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

Doha has said its decision was due to a statement made by the Egypt delegate to the Arab League, in which the Egyptian envoy, Tariq Adel, criticised Qatar’s concerns regarding the Libyan air strikes, insinuating that Doha is supporting terrorism.

“According to our reading in Egypt to this Qatari reservation, it became clear that Qatar has revealed its position that supports terrorism.” Adel said, according to Egyptian news agency MENA, cited by Reuters.

Egypt decided to launch an air strike on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) militant targets in Libya on 16 February, following the release of a video depicting the supposed beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya the previous day.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has expressed reservation about a paragraph in a statement released by the Arab League Council that welcomed the Libyan air strikes by Egypt saying they were in line with “joint Arab action”, according to the QNA.

The Qatari ministry said there needed to be consultation between the Arab countries before one member state took “unilateral military action” against another that could harm civilians.

Egypt-Qatar relations had been improving up to this latest spate.

The dispute could reignite previous rifts within the Gulf states when Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain decided to recall their ambassadors from Qatar last year due to the country’s supposed support for Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The brotherhood backed the previous Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi before he was ousted from power by the military in mid-2013.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices