DOHA: Reiterating its strong condemnation of Wednesday’s military action in Egypt that saw hundreds killed, Qatar yesterday said no solution to the crisis was possible unless former president Mohammed Mursi and other political prisoners were released.
Releasing Mursi and other political prisoners would make dialogue for an amicable solution to the imbroglio possible and easier, said the Foreign Minister, H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah (pictured).
There are many people making efforts to end the crisis and clerics are one of the groups. But the political prisoners may not be aware of what is transpiring, so unless they are made part of the dialogue process no solution can be found, he said.
In an interview to Al Jazeera Arabic channel aired yesterday, Al Attiyah said that in Egypt a democratically elected president had been forcibly removed.
“This amounts to denying the legitimacy of the democratic process,” he said. “And then they stopped the peaceful protesters from holding their sit-ins, using force and causing bloodshed.”
The parties concerned (a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood) should, therefore, be convinced now that an amicable solution to the crisis is easier today than it would be tomorrow, he said.
Asked by the interviewer if Qatar would stop mediating in Egypt in its quest for a peaceful solution, the foreign minister said: “We will keep trying for a solution. A solution was easier yesterday than today and would not be as easier tomorrow.”
About Egypt stopping diplomatic mediation to find a solution, Al Attiyah said that might have been done because that would have meant the foreign delegations meeting all the parties concerned.
He said he was of the view that some elements in Egypt wanted to force the situation to a point where no solution could be found.
As to why the Arab League had not intervened and no member-state had called a meeting of the League to discuss the Egyptian crisis, Al Attiyah said had the sit-ins continued some member-state would have called for a meeting.
Asked why no other Arab country had condemned Wednesday’s military action as boldly as Qatar, the foreign minister said Qatar had principles and defended oppressed people.
“Qatar has condemned the action on humanitarian grounds,” said Al Attiyah. “We were shocked and the sudden military action surprised us because we were talking to all the parties concerned.”