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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Egypt’s Sisi ‘ready to open airspace’ to Qatar flights: reports

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Reports released in December also suggested that the Egyptian president is expected to attend the 41st GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is willing to open his country’s airspace and restore direct flights between Cairo and Doha, a source told media outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. 

According to the report, Egypt informed Saudi Arabia and US officials that it is open to lifting  travel restrictions imposed on Qatar as part of the blockade, which was declared in 2017 after it severed its diplomatic ties with the Gulf state.

The source also claimed Cairo changed its position in recent days in light of “a state of mistrust”, suggesting it was now focusing on developing relations with Riyadh instead of Abu Dhabi, as it does not serve Egypt’s best interest.

The remarks came just days after reports suggested the Egyptian president will be heading to Saudi Arabia for the 41st GCC Summit, which is set to take place on January 5th in Al-Ula.

Read also: Reports: Egypt’s Sisi to participate in upcoming GCC Summit

Egypt has not yet announced its participation in the upcoming meeting of GCC leaders, where prospects of a breakthrough have been increasing for weeks.

However, Cairo has already issued a statement welcoming Kuwaiti efforts to resolve the dispute.

As of Monday, the illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar remains in place, with flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, banned.

Sources told Doha News an announcement to end the dispute will be made at the meeting,  noting negotiations between Doha and Riyadh – the representative of the blockading Quartet – are on track.


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