FILE – Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad while leaving the summit – still image
CAIRO – 1 April 2019: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said that he did not realize Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad at the moment he suddenly left the 30th Arab Summit in Tunisia on Sunday.
The emir was seen leaving the summit during the speech of Egypt's Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary general of the Arab League, while the latter was criticizing Tehran's and Ankara's intervention in the domestic affairs of the Arab states.
However, Doha has not yet commented on the incident, while the reasons that have been reported so far by media and public figures could only be considered as speculations.
"According to my knowledge, or according to my observation of the Egyptian delegation, there wasn't any reaction. The departure of any of the members is related to their circumstances or stance," Shoukri said in an interview with Amr Adeeb on MBC Masr, answering a relevant question.
Asked whether he could recognize the name of Emir Tamim in the list of the leaders who are set to give speeches during the summit, Shoukri said that he did not look at the list, and was only keen to know the time of the Egyptian president's speech.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar since June 2017, accusing their neighbor of funding terrorism, and harboring fugitives. The four states demanded Qatar to close the Qatari state-funded Al-Jazeera, and stop supporting terrorists, as part of a list of demands issued to Doha in order for the relations to be restored. The boycott is believed to be led by Saudi Arabia.
During his speech, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the Arab-Israeli conflict comes at the top of the challenges faced by the Arab nations, adding that he believes that all Arab countries agree that there is no final way out of it if a peaceful, comprehensive and just solution is not reached to restore the rights of the Palestinians.
Sisi affirmed that the solution must guarantee an independent state to the Palestinians with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The president also stressed the need of returning occupied Golan Heights to Syria in order for all Arab territories to be liberated. This comes a few days after US President Donald Trump decided to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, stirring wide criticism of the Arab nations.
Trump also angered the Arab peoples in December 2017 after he announced his administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ordering moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The embassy was inaugurated in Jerusalem in May 2018, despite fierce protestation by world leaders, not only Arabs.