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Qatar lowers representation to EU-Arab summit

February 23, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Qatar will have a low-level representation at the first EU-Arab summit, due to be held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

Qatar’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Ibrahim al-Sahlawi, will lead the Gulf state’s delegation to the summit, the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper quoted Qatari Foreign Ministry sources as saying.

“The participation of Doha comes as a commitment to the joint Arab action and working with our partners in the EU, although the Egyptian government violated [diplomatic] protocol while sending the invitation,” the sources said.

The sources described as “unprofessional” the Egyptian invitation to the Gulf state, saying Cairo sent the invitation to “the Greek Embassy in Doha instead of submitting it to the permanent representative of Qatar to the Arab League”.

The Greek Embassy handles Egyptian interests in Qatar since Cairo, along with three other Arab states, cut ties with Doha in 2017 and imposed “punitive measures” that Doha calls a “blockade”.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies.