Qatar recalled its ambassador to Egypt on Wednesday “for consultation” amid a row over Cairo’s airstrikes on strongholds of the Islamic State group in Libya, Qatar's state-owned news agency QNA reported Thursday.
According to the report, an official in the country’s foreign ministry said that Doha was recalling its envoy, Tareq Adel, following a statement he made to the Arab League on Wednesday. Egyptian media had quoted Adel as criticizing Qatar for expressing reservations over Cairo’s airstrikes on ISIS targets in Libya. He had also accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Egypt had launched airstrikes on ISIS targets in Libya on Monday following the release of a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by ISIS militants in Libya. So far, at least 64 militants have reportedly been killed by the Egyptian military. On Tuesday, Egypt launched its second round of airstrikes targeting ISIS positions in Libya’s port city of Derna.
Meanwhile, Qatar's foreign ministry said that Doha had expressed reservations over the airstrikes and emphasized the need for “consultations before any unilateral military action against another member state,” AFP reported.
The latest diplomatic row comes against a backdrop of strained relations between the two countries. The ties between Qatar and Egypt reached a low point after the ouster of former Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Since his removal by the Egyptian army, Qatar has allegedly provided shelter to many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had withdrawn their ambassadors from Doha over its support for Islamist groups, Reuters reported.