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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar, Egypt agree to develop relations as FM’s meet in Cairo


The Qatari diplomat’s visit comes as part of a tour of North Africa, following similar stops in Libya and Sudan.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday during a visit to the North African country, Al Jazeera Egypt reported.

According to Al Jazeera, the meeting resulted in an Egyptian-Qatari agreement to develop relations between the two states as well as ways to advance the mechanisms of Arab action in light of current regional challenges.

Cairo’s state-owned newspaper Al Ahram reported that the Qatari diplomat arrived on Monday evening for the two-day trip.

The meeting in Cairo follows joint Qatar-Egypt efforts to broker a Gaza ceasefire last week.

Sheikh Mohammed visited Cairo in March this year when Qatar chaired the 155th session of the Arab League. That was his first appearance in the country since the 2017 blockade was imposed on the Gulf state.

His latest stop in Cairo comes as part of a three-leg tour of North Africa, with similar visits to Libya and Sudan in recent days.

Earlier this week, Shoukry assured that both Doha and Cairo are committed to their parts of the Al-Ula Declaration, noting “positive indicators” in the path to reconciliation.

“We look forward to the full implementation of the Al-Ula accord, which will open the way for more normal relations between Egypt and Qatar. We have ensured that the people of both countries are not affected by any tension in relations..all indications so far are positive and in the interest of both countries,” Shoukry told MBC Masr’s show ‘Al Hekaya’.

His comments on Friday were made hours after a Qatar and Egypt-brokered truce to end the 11-day bombardment of Gaza was enforced. The ceasefire indicated yet another positive sign between Doha and Cairo, both of which actively engaging in efforts to mediate to calm tensions.

The truce agreement has been praised by leaders around the world for ending days of brutal violence.

“I commend Egypt and Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close coordination with the UN, to help restore calm to Gaza and Israel”, said Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement to reporters at United Nations [UN] Headquarters in New York, calling on all sides to observe the ceasefire.

Al-Ula Declaration

Qatar and Egypt signed the Al-Ula Accord on January 5th this year at the 41st GCC Summit, ending a three-year long dispute between the two countries as well as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

Egypt was part of a quartet that imposed a full land, air and sea blockade on Qatar and severed all diplomatic ties with the country in 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar has vehemently denied those accusations.

Immediately after the signing, Qatar Diar Real Estate Company officially opened its prestigious and wholly-owned St. Regis Hotel in the Egyptian capital.

The $1 billion investment into St Regis is considered one of the company’s most prominent projects in Egypt, offering an ultimate expression of contemporary luxury in the country’s capital.

Updates regarding the official re-opening of the embassy in Qatar have yet to be announced.

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