Egypt is waiting for more positive steps from Qatar to prove its goodwill, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said, days after Qatari network Al Jazeera suspended a controversial Egypt-focused satellite channel.
The closure of the Mubasher Misr (Egypt Live) channel came as a result of a Saudi-sponsored reconciliation initiative between Egypt and Qatar, after months of strained ties following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
Cairo had complained that the channel had supported Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, designated a terrorist group by the government last year. A presenter on the channel stated on Monday evening that the channel would halt broadcasting temporarily "until suitable permits had been obtained from the Egyptian authorities." The channel's offices were raided by police and closed down in July 2013, after Morsi's ouster, but it had continued to broadcast from Doha.
In comments carried in Al-Ahram Arabic daily on Tuesday, El Sisi said a meeting he had with the Qatari head of intelligence is just "a starting point” and that Qatar needs to prove "its seriousness towards the Arab lineup."
The comments came on the sideline of El-Sisi's visit to China.
A meeting between El-Sisi and Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani is expected to take place in January in Saudi Arabia.