The Gulf Cooperation Council’s Secretary-General has denied he issued a statement condemning Egypt’s statements on Qatar, adding that the GCC stands in full support of Egypt and its President.
Earlier on Thursday, a statement had been released on the GCC’s website, allegedly by the Secretary General Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, criticizing “accusations levelled by Egypt’s envoy to the Arab League against Qatar.”
The statement alleged the Bahraini Secretary General strongly criticized Egypt’s accusations that Qatar supports terrorism.
However, hours later, the GCC’s Secretary General said on television he had been taken by surprise upon seeing the release of the statement, adding that he has never criticized Egypt nor had he issued a statement.
The Secretary General released a new statement declaring that the GCC, consisting of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, had not issued any earlier statements on Thursday.
The confusion increased as the earlier statement was deleted off the GCC’s website and Qatar remained silent. One Bahraini government source quoted on Bahrain’s state media agency said that Qatar controls the website, hence the ‘false statement attributed to Al Zayani’.
Meanwhile, Egypt has clarified its statements on Qatar, declaring that the media had taken the words of Egypt’s envoy to the Arab League out of context.
The Egyptian envoy, Tareq Adel, had stated that Qatar risks “supporting terrorism” by standing against a resolution that supported Egypt’s right to defend itself and the arming of the elected government’s military.
Qatar was the only country in the Arab League to stand against the sending of arms to Libya’s government and had expressed reservations over Egypt’s airstrikes on ISIS in Libya.
Following the Arab League’s session, Qatar recalled its Ambassador in Cairo for consultations. In Egypt, social media users started anti-Qatar hashtags, with one hash-tag trending worldwide on Thursday.
By Friday morning, #Qatar_Supports_ISIS was the top trending hashtag in Egypt.