Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will visit Qatar on Tuesday, his first visit to Doha since the GCC crisis in 2017.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will visit Qatar on Tuesday, his first visit to the Gulf nation since 2017, when the three Gulf nations along with Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Egypt. with Qatar.
El-Sisi is expected to meet Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during his two-day visit, which comes nearly three months after El-Sisi held talks with Sheikh Tamim in Cairo aimed at boosting ties between two countries.
Egypt and Qatar restore diplomatic relations in January 2021 after signing a reconciliation agreement in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. In addition to Sheikh Tamim’s June trip to Cairo, the two leaders also met on the sidelines of summits this year.
Discussions on bilateral relations are expected to take place, including redressing the tumultuous relationship and investment opportunities.
Rebuilding a tumultuous relationship
In 2017, Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut off diplomatic, trade and tourism ties with Qatar, after accusing Doha of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting “terrorism” in the region. Doha denies these claims, and conversely, accuses similar countries of besieging Qatar economically and politically.
After diplomatic relations were restored last year, Qatar and Egypt have made mutual visits and made bilateral agreements. This includes taking diplomatic steps to witness the appointment of mutual ambassadors and the activity of direct flights between Egypt and Qatar for the first time since 2017.
When Israel attacked Gaza in August, both Egypt and Qatar quickly issued a ceasefire following the deadly three-day Israeli assault.
In June, according to the Egyptian president, the emir of Qatar also “praised Egypt’s continued efforts in reconstruction in the Gaza Strip”. Doha and Cairo – key US allies in the Middle East – both provide reconstruction aid to the besieged territory and participate in reconciliation efforts between Israel and the rulers of Gaza, Hamas .
Russia’s war with Ukraine has deepened Egypt’s food crisis as it affects global food prices and wheat exports.
Egypt has been hit hard by the aftermath of the war: it is one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, with about 80 percent of its supply coming from Russia and Ukraine last year. Inflation in Egypt spiked to around 9% in February, a rise due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, according to World Bank data.
About 350,000 Egyptians work in Qatar and send hundreds of millions of dollars back home every year.
Scramble to boost its economy, Egypt invests $5 billion deal during the visit of Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani to Cairo in March.
Hydrocarbon giant QatarEnergy has announced an agreement with major US ExxonMobil to buy a 40% stake in a gas exploration block off Egypt’s coast in the Mediterranean.
Observers say that the $5 billion Qatar invests in the coming years will contribute to Egypt’s economic development, boost job creation there and encourage Qatari private investment in the country.