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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar, Egypt ‘resolve outstanding issues’ as officials hold Doha meeting


Several meetings between Egypt and Qatar have been taking place since the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration on January 5th this year.

A Qatari-Egyptian Follow-up Committee held its fifth meeting on Saturday at the Gulf state’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Doha state news agency [QNA] reported.

According to the local news agency, the meeting was chaired by Qatar’s Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Regional Affairs Ambassador Ali bin Fahad Al Hajri and Egypt’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Arab Affairs Ambassador Yasser Othman.

During the meeting, the committee reached an agreement over several files and addressed outstanding issues between the two countries.

The meeting came after Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Cairo’s ON television on Friday that “unresolved issues and impurities in the two countries’ relations during the boycott years were resolved in accordance with the Al-Ula Declaration”.

“There is interest at the level of the two countries for the resumption of relations and their return to normal,” added Shoukry.

Resumption of diplomatic ties

The meeting comes after Egypt’s president appointed a new ambassador to Qatar last week, the first such move since Cairo severed its ties with the Gulf state in 2017.

Amr El-Sherbiny was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Qatar.

That decision followed Shoukry’s visit to Qatar earlier this month, in which he delivered a letter from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, inviting him to visit Egypt.

Qatar receives first Egypt ambassador since 2017 blockade

The appointment of the new Egyptian ambassador came only a few days after Qatar received a new Saudi ambassador to the Gulf country.

Warming relations

Cairo withdrew its ambassador from Doha on June 5th, 2017, immediately after the Gulf crisis saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade.

Since the announcement of the Gulf reconciliation during the 41st GCC Summit, Egypt and Qatar have continued to move towards strengthening relations that have faced strain in the past three years.

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

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.

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