The United Arab Emirates has sent Foreign Minister Abdullah Ben Zayed to the US to seek an urgent meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry because the Emirates government feels that things are not going well in Egypt. MEMO has learnt that the UAE is worried that the US is about to withdraw its support for the coup.
Ben Zayed, it is believed, offered personally to start negotiations with the Muslim Brotherhood in order to find a solution to the crisis. He had requested the Egyptians to allow him to meet the Deputy Supreme Guide of the movement, Khairat Al-Shater.
Recognising his growing isolation, internally and externally, coup leader General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi welcomed the idea; it is understood that he now wants a solution by any means. However, according to MEMO’s sources, when Al-Shater was told that Foreign Minister Ben Zayed would come to meet him, he refused to cooperate, insisting that he “will not meet with American poodles”.
The Americans contacted the Qataris to mediate with the Brotherhood but were told that it would be difficult after the recent statement by Kerry in Pakistan in which he claimed that the Egyptian army “ousted Morsi to restore democracy”. The Qataris pointed out that the remark had convinced the Brotherhood that Washington is part of the problem and not the solution. As a result, American officials said Kerry’s statement was a mistake and offered to issue a more neutral position, which duly happened.
Qatar has stipulated that its offer to mediate will only be followed through if its own Foreign Minister Khalid Alatiyah is allowed to meet President Mohamed Morsi and Al-Shater to explore their positions. The request has been accepted and Alatiyah flew to Egypt last night.
Meanwhile, MEMO sources assert that this development constitutes a huge humiliation for the UAE, which wanted to dominate proceedings in Egypt and exclude Qatar.