Doha denies involvement in Cairo church attack

Egyptian security forces (L) inspect the scene of a bomb explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church on December 11, 2016, in Cairo's Abbasiya neighbourhood. (AFP file photo)
Updated 15 December 2016

Doha denies involvement in Cairo church attack

DOHA: Qatar has denied any link with a Cairo church bombing that killed 25 people and accused critics of trying to sully the country’s name.
Doha’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it condemned all “terrorism acts,” in a statement released through the Qatar News Agency on Tuesday night.
On Monday, Egypt accused fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled to Qatar of training and financing those responsible for the deadly bomb attack on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church a day earlier.
Cairo’s Interior Ministry pointed a finger at suspect Mohab Mostafa El-Sayed Qassem, also known as “The Doctor,” who traveled to Qatar in 2015. It said Qassem was offered financial and logistical support to carry out attacks in Egypt. But Qatar said such claims were baseless. The Foreign Ministry condemned allegations that Qatar was involved in the bombing on “the pretext that the suspect visited Qatar in 2015.”
Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Rumaihi said such statements to “sully the name of Qatar” were an attempt to “cover up any failures of the relevant Egyptian authorities” and would inflame tensions.
Qassem visited Qatar on December 3, 2015, “like hundreds of thousands of others who are allowed to enter the country for work or a visit,” he said.
The suspect headed back to Cairo on Feb. 1, but Doha received no requests from Egypt to detain him, Al-Rumaihi said.


US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

Updated 7 min 29 sec ago

US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

ANKARA: Turkey has agreed to completely end military operations in northern Syria after Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone, US Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.
Turkey's operation "will be halted entirely on completion" of the pullout, Pence told reporters after talks in Ankara.
"Great news out of Turkey," Donald Trump tweeted, shortly before Pence announced in Ankara that Turkey had agreed to end its military operation once Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone.
"Millions of lives will be saved!" Trump wrote.


Trump's chief of staff had earlier said the president may revoke a White House invitation extended to Erdogan, depending on the outcome of the talks in Ankara.
"It's still on the schedule," Mike Mulvaney told reporters, "but I think that's one of those wait and see things."
"The president's been very clear about what he wants to see out of President Erdogan," he added.