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Saudi king calls on Egypt to back Qatar deal

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Saudi King Abdullah Wednesday called on Egypt to back an agreement reached at the weekend between Gulf countries to end a spat with Qatar, which Egypt accuses of harbouring hardline Islamists.

“I appeal to the people and leadership of Egypt to join hands with us to ensure the success of this step in the march of Arab solidarity,” the official Saudi news agency SPA quoted a royal statement as saying.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to send back their ambassadors to Qatar, eight months after recalling them over accusations that Qatar was meddling in their internal affairs.

Ties between Egypt and Qatar have been strained since last year when the army deposed president Mohammed Morsi after mass street protests against his rule.

Qatar backs Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, is an ally of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, the former army chief who led Morsi’s removal.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization – a designation the group rejects, saying it is committed to peaceful protests. SAPA

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