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Egypt response to Qatar regarding the support of terrorism
7 August 2017
Letter dated 3 August 2017 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I refer to the identical letters dated 20 July 2017 from the Permanent Representative of Qatar (S/2017/628), which contain numerous falsehoods and lies concerning the membership of Egypt on the Security Council. I wish to bring to your attention a number of facts that disprove the claims made in the letters, which would not have merited a response had they not been circulated as a document of the Security Council.
- Qatar has adopted a policy of supporting terrorism and interfering in other countries' internal affairs. Unsurprisingly, Qatar therefore fails to understand that all Member States of the United Nations, including Egypt, have an obligation, under the relevant international instruments and binding Security Council resolutions, to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a result, Egypt has a duty to expose the practices and activities of Qatar, which provides financial and ideological support to terrorist groups whose reach stretches beyond the Middle East to numerous States around the world.
- Egypt has endeavoured to implement the resolutions of the Security Council. It has always emphasized that all States must fully implement those resolutions, and that the Security Council must hold accountable those States that fail to do so. The resolutions themselves stress that any failure to comply must be addressed; one example among many others is paragraph 47 of resolution 2368 (2017). Accordingly, Egypt has asked the Security Council to investigate the claims that the Qatari regime has supported terrorism in specific cases. Egypt is convinced of the fact – which is a matter of international consensus – that support for terrorism, whether by providing funds, weapons, safe haven or encouragement, is a crime no lesser than terrorism itself, and that the perpetrators must be held accountable.
- In her letter, the Permanent Representative of Qatar argues at length that Egypt has taken advantage of its position as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) (the Counter-Terrorism Committee) to advance its own particular political goals and to settle accounts with certain States. While hardly surprising, those claims are belied by the fact that all concerned have welcomed and commended the considerable efforts made by Egypt, as Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, to fulfil its duty to follow up implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. As Chair, Egypt has also ensured that the Committee's programme of work includes meetings and open briefings addressing all aspects of counter-terrorism, including the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing the provision of safe haven or weapons to terrorists, and preventing terrorists' use of the Internet and social media.
- It is generally known which States are combating or supporting terrorism. Everyone knows and understands that Qatar has a record of supporting terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other countries. Those facts have been highlighted in the reports submitted to the Security Council by the Panel of Experts assisting the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya.
- Egypt and other States have continued to suffer directly and indirectly because Qatar has supported terrorists and supplied them with funds and weapons. Along with its regional partners that are in the same situation, Egypt has begun to mobilize and take countermeasures in accordance with international law. It has done so because Qatar has violated its international obligation to combat terrorism. The measures taken are consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions, which require the international community and States to confront terrorism and its sponsor regimes, and to make domestic, regional and international efforts for that purpose in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
- The letter from the Permanent Representative of Qatar refers to the memorandum of understanding concluded between the United States of America and Qatar on combating the financing of terrorism. However, the timing and context of that memorandum cannot in any way be dissociated from the measures adopted by Egypt and a number of other Arab States to counteract Qatar's efforts to support and finance terrorism. It is inconceivable that Qatar would have signed the memorandum had its activities not been exposed by Egypt and the other States that took those measures.
Lastly, we wish to stress that Egypt will honour its commitments under international law, the Charter and the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. We shall work indefatigably to fully implement all of the provisions of those resolutions. In particular, we shall highlight instances of non-compliance and insist that States violating the resolutions be held to account, especially where counter-terrorism is concerned. At a time when the international community, with Egypt at its forefront, is working to complete the international counter-terrorism architecture, it is both unreasonable and unacceptable for Qatar to seek to demolish that architecture by repeatedly violating Security Council resolutions without fear and without covering its tracks, all the while bragging that it is effectively combating terrorism and fostering peace, security and development.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta
Crisis in Egypt
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