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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar, Egypt on ‘positive’ path to reconciliation


The two countries joined efforts in recent weeks to broker a ceasefire that brought to end an 11-day Israeli offensive on Gaza.

Both Doha and Cairo have been committed to their parts of the Al-Ula Declaration, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry assured on Friday, 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’.

Shoukry also revealed regular legal and political-level meetings between representatives from committees working to re-engage diplomatic ties, in a bid to ensure that the declaration is being effectively executed.

The Egyptian official said there will be a Qatari-Egyptian follow-up meeting shortly.

The comments on Friday were made hours after a Qatar and Egypt-brokered truce to end the 11-day bombardment of Gaza was enforced.

Read also: UN, EU thank Qatar for facilitating ceasefire in Gaza Strip

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.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland also thanked Qatar for its efforts in bringing the situation in Gaza to a much needed calm.

Hours after the ceasefire was implemented, occupying Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque, firing rubber-coated steel bullets at worshippers who were performing Friday prayers as well as unarmed people celebrating the ceasefire.

The Palestinian Red Crescent has not disclosed figures on the number of injuries reported in the Friday attacks.

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 several Gulf states—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

Egypt was part of a quartet that imposed a full land, air and sea blockade on Qatar while severing all diplomatic ties with the country in 2017 on the bases of accusations that it supported 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.

Until now, there are no updates regarding the official re-opening of the embassy in Qatar.

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