Egypt stands firm in face of Qatar interference: Enough is enough!
CAIRO - Egypt's foreign ministry said it summoned Qatar's ambassador on Saturday in protest at Doha's criticism of the government's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated following the Egyptian military's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and a deadly crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement, which Qatar backs.
Qatar said on Saturday a decision by Egypt to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group was "a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy" against demonstrators.
"The Qatari ambassador was summoned over a statement by the Qatari foreign ministry," Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said.
A Qatari Foreign Ministry statement said: "The decision to designate popular political movements as terrorist organisations, and labelling peaceful demonstrations as terrorism, did not succeed in stopping the peaceful protests.
"It was only a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy on demonstrators," the statement published by state news agency QNA said. It said that "inclusive dialogue" between all sides was the only solution to Egypt's crisis.
The Qatari Al-Jazeera news broadcaster has also incensed Egypt's government with its coverage of a police crackdown on persistent Brotherhood protests since Morsi's overthrow in July.
In an interview with Egypt's newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm in November, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi said Al Jazeera was one of the reasons for worsening ties between the two states.
"There must be a stance taken with regard to any interference in Egypt's internal affairs, not forgiving those who overstep its rights," he said when asked if Cairo might sanction Doha as it did Ankara last year.
Egypt expelled the Turkish ambassador in November after it accused Ankara of backing organisations bent on undermining the country - an apparent reference to the Brotherhood.
Egyptian authorities Tuesday ordered an Australian journalist and two other reporters working for Al-Jazeera television detained for two weeks on suspicion of "disturbing public security," a judicial source said.
They were arrested on Sunday amid a widening crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which the military-installed government declared a "terrorist" group last week.
Al-Jazeera has identified them as Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Adel Fahmy -- a dual Egyptian-Canadian citizen -- Australian reporter Peter Greste and producer Baher Mohamed.
Cameraman Mohamed Fawzi, who was also arrested on Sunday, has since been released.
Prosecutors accused the crew of "working in violation of the law, filming sovereign institutions, and airing videos aimed at disturbing peace and public security," the source said.
The detention can be extended, and they can be referred to trial if charges are brought against them.
The team was also accused of having maps of Egyptian military installations on their laptops and of working for the channel despite its licence being cancelled by the authorities, the sources added.
The four were arrested at their makeshift office in a Cairo hotel.
Greste, a former BBC journalist, won the prestigious Peabody award in 2011 for a documentary on Somalia.
Qatar, which hosts and funds Al-Jazeera, was a big supporter of Morsi before his overthrow by the army in July last year.
To the fury of the interim government, it has been an outspoken critic ever since.
The Egyptian government declared the Brotherhood a "terrorist organisation" last week after a suicide car bombing of a police headquarters killed 15 people.
It blamed the attack on the Brotherhood.