President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with chief of Saudi royal court
A meeting between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Qatari and Saudi reprentatives has reportedly resulted in positive steps towards reconciliation between the Qatari and Egyptian governments, according to a statement released by Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday El-Sisi met with special envoys from the king of Saudi Arabia and the emir of Qatar in Cairo, as a part of the Saudi Arabian initiative to reduce tensions between Egypt and Qatar.
A statement released by the Saudi palace on Saturday evening said that both countries “had accepted the Saudi initiative, understanding that it is in the interest of the two countries and their peoples," and had agreed to "cease doing things which create rifts between the two country."
“Saudi Arabia values the steps taken by the two countries which will strengthen the relationships between Egypt and Qatar, one of which is today’s visit of the special envoy of the emir of Qatar.”
The relationship between the two states has been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who had been backed by Qatar.
A Qatari statement, released following the Saudi announcement, said that Qatar welcomed the initiative and "completely stands by the brotherly Arab republic of Egypt" as Qatar's security is connected to Egypt's security.
The Qatari statement added that the emir of Qatar had initiated the Saturday meeting, sending his special envoy to meet with the Egyptian president, who received him very generously.
"Qatar, which cares about Egypt’s leading role in the Arab and Islamic world, seeks strong bilateral relations and mutual efforts to develop Egypt which will be in the interest of the peoples of both countries," the statement concluded.
Khalid Bin Abdel Aziz Al-Twegri, envoy to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdel Rahman Al-Thani, envoy to Emir of Qatar Hamad Khalifa Al Thani, met with El-Sisi at the Ittihadiya presidential palace.
They discussed an agreement signed at a conference in Riyadh in November which obliges all Gulf Cooperation Council countries to support Egypt and work to enhance its security and stability.
A spokesman for El-Sisi said that Egypt is looking forwards to a new era beyond the disagreements of the past to keep up with the current critical phase which Arabs are experiencing.
El-Sisi called onto all media persons and thinkers to collaborate within the reconciliation initiative to make progress in Egyptian-Qatari relations.