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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Qatar-Egypt engaging in major moves to strengthen relations: envoy


Doha and Cairo recently signed two cooperation agreements in postal remittances and e-commerce as part of efforts to strengthen ties.

Qatar’s newly-appointed ambassador to Egypt Salem Al Shafi on Monday said the two countries have a mutual desire to move forward and overcome past differences.

In his first statement to the media since assuming his position earlier this month, Al Shafi said Qatar “takes into consideration Egypt’s priorities in the region” and is working to “achieve the maximum degree of consensus and harmony in various issues and files”.

The Qatari diplomat noted that there is a “genuine intention by the leaders of the two countries to achieve rapprochement” while announcing that the next Qatari-Egyptian Follow-up Committee meeting will take place in October.

Special delivery: Egypt and Qatar’s postal services team up

During the previous meeting, Qatar and Egypt’s postal bodies signed two cooperation agreements in postal remittances and e-commerce.

The first agreement will aim to activate an electronic postal money transfer service between Egypt Post and Qatar Post through the global system of the Postal Union.

“Doha is working with Cairo in more than one area, whether in the political, economic, or even areas of joint cooperation,” said Al Shafi, stressing that there are joint diplomatic efforts to strengthen ties.

Al Shafi became Qatar’s first ambassador to Egypt since the 2017 GCC crisis, which came to an end on 5 January following the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration.

The Gulf crisis saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar.

However, there have been positive statements from officials from Cairo and Doha following the signing of the accord, indicating the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two states.

In June, Egypt appointed its newest ambassador to Qatar, following a similar move by Saudi Arabia.

Last month, Al Jazeera also aired live from Cairo for the first time in eight years after it was shut down in 2013 per an Egyptian judicial decision made following a raid that saw the arrest of several journalists.

Ties have appeared to develop over the past months, especially since the two countries joined forces to push for a ceasefire in Gaza in May that brought to an end a deadly 11-day Israeli offensive in the besieged city.

A May visit by Qatar’s foreign minister to Cairo also resulted in a mutual agreement to develop relations between the two states while further cooperating to resolve regional challenges.

Sheikh Tamim also took the initiative to invite Egypt’s Sisi to visit Qatar, which would be his first visit since 2017.

There are approximately more than 350,000 Egyptian nationals in the Gulf state.

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