Egypt, Qatar seek further economic cooperation: Officials

Ahram Online , Mohamed Soliman , Friday 22 Oct 2021

Egypt and Qatar aspire to promote economic cooperation amid recent rapprochement efforts between the two countries, according to Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea and Qatar's Ambassador to Cairo Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi.

Egypt, Qatar
Egypt's Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea and Qatar's Ambassador to Cairo Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi.

Gamea and Al-Shafi met in Cairo on Friday in a new step toward developing their bilateral cooperation, which resumed after a-four-year-hiatus following the the signing of the Al-Ula reconciliation agreement earlier this year.

Friday's meeting came on the heels of a series of recent high-level talks between officials from both countries, including a meeting in August between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who agreed to continue consultation to boost bilateral relations.

Gamea said during the meeting both countries' governments are exerting "intensive efforts" to achieve "further rapprochement" at the political and economic levels, a statement by the trade ministry read.

The statement added that Gamea urged the translation of agreements between the two countries' political leadership into concrete projects that serve the interest of the two peoples.

She also called for building on the "solid" ground laid by President El-Sisi and Qatari Emir Tamim to enhance the rates of trade exchange and develop joint investments.

Gamea underscored the significance of establishing new frameworks for cooperation between Cairo and Doha in the commercial, investment and industrial fields as well as working on forming an Egyptian-Qatari trade committee to follow up on all projects of bilateral cooperation during the coming phase.

She also stressed the importance of joint work between the two countries at the ministerial level to push bilateral relations to "unprecedented levels," the statement added.

Gamea extended through the Qatari ambassador an invitation to the Qatar's Trade and Industry Minister Mohammad bin Hamad to visit Cairo "to discuss files and themes of joint work between the two countries during the next stage."

For his part, the Qatari ambassador stressed that both countries share a common desire to start a new phase of bilateral cooperation in various fields, saying "Egypt represents a strategic depth for the countries of the region."

Al-Shafi also called for boosting the rates of intra-regional trade and joint investments between Egypt and Qatar "to reflect the great potentials of both countries and to translate the distinguished relations that bind the two brotherly peoples," the statement added.

"There is a consensus between the Egyptian and Qatari governments on a substantial number of cooperation files," the Qatari ambassador stressed.

He also hailed the recent economic reforms and urban development in Egypt.

He highlighted that Qatar has investments in the Egyptian market, especially in the financial and real estate sectors.

The Arab quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, charging that Doha was too close to Iran and backed terrorist groups – allegations Doha has always denied.

In January, Egypt and the Arab quartet signed the Al-Ula Declaration with Qatar, restoring diplomatic, economic and travel ties with Doha.

In the wake of the Al-Ula declaration, Egypt and Qatar agreed to move beyond their disputes and work towards settling all outstanding issues.

Three rounds of talks between the Egyptian-Qatari committee – tasked with developing relations between Cairo and Doha – were held throughout the year.

Following the signing of the declaration, Qatar Airways and EgyptAir resumed flights between the two countries' capitals.

Both countries exchanged ambassadors in the summer.

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