World News

Egypt and Russia's foreign ministers discuss Qatar

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov by telephone on Thursday about Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain’s rift with Qatar, an Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The four Arab states cut diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny Gulf nation last month, which they accuse of supporting terrorism and allying with regional foe Iran. Doha denies the charges.

“Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday and affirmed Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain’s position of rejecting Qatar’s support for terrorism and extremism,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

The foreign ministers of the four countries met in Cairo on Wednesday in a gathering that was expected to yield further sanctions after a deadline they gave Qatar to meet 13 demands expired. However, they announced no new measures.

They voiced disappointment at Qatar’s “negative” response to their demands and said their boycott of it would continue. Shoukry told Lavrov of the results of the quartet’s meeting, Abu Zeid said, and Lavrov affirmed his country’s commitment to helping fight terror.

Shoukry and Lavrov also discussed the latest developments in Syria and agreed to meet soon in Cairo or Moscow, Abu Zeid said.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein, editing by Larry King