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Tension between Qatar and Egypt over airstrikes on ISIL

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By Seamus Kearney
Tension between Qatar and Egypt over airstrikes on ISIL

Egypt is defending its airstrikes in Libya on suspected militants who have expressed support for the ISIL terrorist group.

This as Qatar reportedly recalls its ambassador in Cairo for so-called “consulations” over the bombings.

A senior Egyptian envoy was earlier quoted as criticising Qatar for voicing reservations over the airstrikes.

The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said: “You should know that we are not on the offensive against anyone.

“The Egyptian army has never been an aggressor, or an invading army to take other people’s land, whatever their strength.

“This army is for the protection of Egypt and Egyptians. Is that not right?”

Egypt began bombing targets in Libya after ISIL released a video showing the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.

The UN Security Council is also being urged to lift an arms embargo on Libya so its internationally recognised government can tackle ISIL and other militants.

Calling for a decisive stance from the international community, Libya’s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Dayri, said: “Help would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons, so our army can receive material and weapons, so as to deal with this rampant terrorism.”

Egypt has also called for a UN- mandated force to fight ISIL after the group released its horrific video, in which a militant is heard saying they will “conquer Rome”.