Qatar has condemned attempts to link it to a deadly church bombing in Egypt this weekend that left 25 people dead.
On Sunday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at St. Peter’s Church in central Cairo in a brazen attack later claimed by ISIS terrorist group.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry later stated that the alleged mastermind of the attack — identified as Muhab Qasim — had traveled to Qatar in 2015 where he joined members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which was outlawed by the Egyptian authorities following a 2013 military coup.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry, for its part, declared Tuesday that the claims by the Egyptian authorities were aimed at “covering up failures by authorities in Egypt”.
In a statement carried by Qatar’s official news agency, ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Rumeihi said the allegations served to “strain relations between the brotherly peoples” of Egypt and Qatar.
Al-Rumeihi went on to say that Qasim had visited Qatar in late 2015, “in accordance with legal regulations applied in Qatar, as do hundreds of thousands of people who enter Qatar for business or tourism”.
He added that Qasim had left the Gulf country in February of this year.
“The Qatari authorities did not receive any request from the Egyptian security authorities or Arab or international police to deny [Qasim] entry into Qatar or arrest him,” al-Rumeihi said, reiterating his country’s rejection of terrorism.
“Qatar does not tolerate any attempt to harm the security of the brotherly Egyptian people,” he said.
Egypt-Qatar relations have remained strained since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a 2013 military coup.
Egyptian authorities accuse Doha of harboring members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo has designated as a “terrorist” organization.
Source: Albawaba News