The resounding “yes” with which Egypt will endorse the new constitution is going to reverberate across those Arab countries which stood by our side and supported our June 30 Revolution. In defiance of external pressures countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman have offered us economic, political and media support. These countries acted with courage and solidarity, proving that they are strategic partners worthy of our trust.
Our resolute “yes” is going also to be heard in Qatar and Turkey, but in tones of disappointment. Members of the Turkish opposition will point to the foreign policy failure of Prime Minister Erdogan. As for Qatar, I would advise caution, for we must be aware that in matters of foreign policy, nothing stays the same.
The changing of Qatar’s head of state has given rise to hopes that Qatar might reconsider its policy. Unfortunately, the former head of state and the prime minister are still controlling policy from behind the scenes. A recent statement by Qatar turned out to be particularly damaging, as it contained a fierce attack on Egypt and thus sent bilateral relations spiraling downwards. The terrible impact of such conduct cannot be underestimated.
Still, I hope that through calm and precise calculations that we may refrain from generalization and not let our feelings toward the Qatari government affect our compassion for the people of that country. Despite turbulence in our bilateral relations, we must keep in mind that there are people in Qatar who do not approve of their government’s policies and who not only wish to invest in Egypt, but who also wish for the traditional warmth between our two countries to return.
translated from Al Yom 7