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Egypt Summons Qatari Charge D’Affaires as Tensions Rise

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt summoned the Qatari charge d’affaires to demand the handover of Egyptian Islamists who fled to Doha and are wanted by Egyptian authorities.

Qatar was urged to return the fugitives to their homeland, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency. Egypt also demanded that the Qatari government, which owns the Al-Jazeera television station, intervene to stop what it said was incitement by Qatari channels against the Egyptian authorities, MENA reported.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated with the Egyptian military’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and subsequent crackdown on his Qatari-backed Muslim Brotherhood group last year. Egypt accuses Al-Jazeera of supporting the Islamists, and plans to try 20 people it says are the station’s employees on terrorism-related charges.

Last month, Egypt summoned the Qatari ambassador to protest Doha’s criticism of the crackdown on Islamists. He was not in the country today, according to MENA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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