June 9, 2017 / 4:24 AM / a month ago

Egypt and Bahrain keep pressure on Qatar in Gulf crisis

2 Min Read

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt and Bahrain kept up pressure on Qatar on Thursday, giving no indication after talks in Cairo between their leaders that they were ready to soften their stance on the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

The two countries, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Islamist militants and their enemy Iran - charges Qatar denies. Several other countries followed suit.

King Hamad of Bahrain met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Thursday. In a statement issued by the Egyptian presidency, they gave no sign they were ready to compromise.

"The leaders agreed the decision came after Qatar insisted on taking a path that is harmful to Arab states and after attempts to prevent it from supporting terrorist groups," the statement said. 

"Qatar insisted on interfering in the domestic affairs of Egypt, Bahrain, and other Arab countries in a way that threatens their safety and security and harms Arab national security and unity," it added.

Qatar has backed Islamist movements but strongly denies supporting terrorism. Sisi has been angered by Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt says is a terrorist organisation. The Brotherhood denies the accusation.

Qatar said on Thursday the action against it was endangering stability in Gulf but it was not prepared to compromise to settle the dispute. [nL8N1J51AP]

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Writing by Giles Elgood; editing by Andrew Roche

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