UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Egypt accused Qatar on Thursday of adopting a "pro-terrorist" policy that violated United Nations Security Council resolutions and described it as "shameful" that the 15-member body had not held Qatar accountable.
Qatar's U.N. ambassador, Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, rejected the "baseless accusations" made by Egyptian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ihab Awad Moustafa after the Security Council adopted a resolution to renew sanctions on Islamic State and al Qaeda.
"It's crucial for the Security Council to make these countries that don't respect these resolutions accountable," Moustafa told the council. "For example, the adoption by the Qatar regime of a pro-terrorist policy."
Al-Thani told Reuters after the meeting: "Egypt is exploiting their Security Council seat to drag in issues that are not relevant to the council's agenda ... it's just serving their own national agenda."
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, saying the gas-rich Gulf state financed Islamist militants throughout the region, allegations Qatar denies.
Moustafa told the council that Qatar "believes that the economic interests and the different political orientations will protect them from any accountability vis-a-vis the Security Council because it has violated the resolutions of the council."
"That shameful situation cannot continue," he said. "This council's resolutions must be effective, they must stop any violation."
Any push to impose U.N. sanctions on Qatar would likely be difficult as it needs either consensus approval behind closed doors by the Security Council or a vote on a resolution, which would need nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney