Dubai: Diplomats from Qatar and the four states boycotting it exchanged heated words at an Arab League meeting on Tuesday following an “unacceptable” comment by Qatar’s envoy.
Tensions flared after Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan Bin Sa’ad Al Muraikhi discussed the boycott in his opening speech despite the Gulf dispute not being on the agenda.
He called critics of Qatar “rabid dogs” while labelling Iran “an honourable country”.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said Muraikhi’s comments were unacceptable.
“We all know Qatar’s historic support for terrorism and what has been provided for extremist factions, and money in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Egypt that have lead to the death of many of Egypt’s sons,” Shukri said.
Qatar backed a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt before it was overthrown by the military in 2013.
The Arab states have demanded Qatar sever any links with the Brotherhood and other groups they deem to be terrorist, ideological or sectarian.
Replying to Al Muraikhi’s comment about Iran, Ahmad Al Qattan, Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the Arab League lashed out, saying “Congratulations to Iran and soon, God willing, you will regret it.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, suspending air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region’s biggest US military base.
The nations say Doha supports regional foe Iran and Islamists.