The Suez Canal Authority is committed to implementing the decision of banning the Qatari ships from entering ports within the Suez Canal’s economic zone, chairperson of the Suez Canal Economic Zone Mohab Mamish said in press statements on Friday.
Mamish pointed out that the decision comes amid cutting diplomatic ties between Egypt and Qatar, and all decisions taken by the Egyptian government should be implemented in all ports in the economic zone, as it is Egyptian territorial water.
However, the decision does not include passing through the main canal due to international law, as under the Constantinople 1869 agreement, it is illegal to ban ships coming from any country from passing through, Mamish added. Also, he explained that the Qatari ships passing through the Suez Canal are loaded with gas and cannot be banned.
Moreover, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the Qatari crisis in phone calls with his Russian and Kuwaiti counterparts. On Thursday, Shoukry discussed with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the results of the quartet meeting of anti-Qatar countries. Lavrov asserts his country’s commitment to support efforts of confronting terrorism and saving the security and stability of the Arab countries.
Shoukry received a phone call from his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, and praised the Kuwaiti efforts to end the dispute in the Gulf. Shoukry also informed the Kuwaiti official about the results of the last meeting of anti-Qatar countries in Cairo on Wednesday.
The phone calls come one day after the meeting held on Wednesday in Cairo that was attended by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain to discuss the Qatari response to the list of demands that was presented to Doha by the quartet.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain issued a joint statement and vowed to take political, economic, and legal measures against Doha after Qatar’s refusal to accept the list of demands presented by the four countries. They also blamed Qatar for continuing to seek to sabotage and undermine the security and stability in the Gulf region.
Qatar rejected the “false claims” in statements issued by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, describing the accusations by the anti-Qatar countries as defamation.
A Qatari Foreign Ministry source said on Friday that the claims by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt about Qatar’s interference in internal affairs of other countries and financing terrorism are baseless allegations, according to Qatar’s state news agency.
Furthermore, Qatar’s Finance Minister, Ali Sharif Al Emadi, told The Times newspaper that the economic fundamentals of his country are in a better position than its rivals and that Doha is rich enough to face the threats of the blockade, adding that the state’s huge financial reserves, built on the sale of natural gas over decades, meant it could withstand sanctions.
In an additional development, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday that his country’s intelligence service will participate in efforts to clear up accusations by Arab neighbours that Qatar supports terror groups.
On 5 June, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libyas’ eastern-based government, in addition to Maldives, cut their diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar. The six Arab governments accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, supporting Iran, and disturbing security and stability in the region—charges that Doha denies.