Handball diplomacy: Qatari emir attends Egypt-Germany handball game in Doha

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Jan 2015

The Handball World Championship is underway in Doha

Tamim bin Hamad Al-Than
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Than

Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attended Egypt's handball match against Germany at the Handball World Championship on Monday.

Relations between Egypt and Qatar deteriorated after the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who had been backed by Doha.

Saudi Arabia played a mediation role, leading to reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar in December whereby both countries agreed to put a halt to negative media campaigns.

Sources from both Egypt and Qatar stated that Sheikh Tamim plans to attend the Egyptian economic summit due to take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in mid-March.

On Monday the Egyptian team was eyeing a quarter-final place at the World Championship, but lost 23-16 to Germany.

Sheikh Tamim was spotted in the stands at the start of the match. 

Despite being paired with a tough group alongside European heavyweights France, Sweden and Iceland, African champions Algeria and resilient Czech Republic, the Egyptians turned heads by producing a string of superb displays during the tournament.

Qatar became the first Asian team since 1997 to reach the tournament's quarter-finals after their narrow 29-27 win over Austria on Sunday.

Egypt's loss prevented a direct clash with the Qatari team in the coming round. The hosts are now confirmed to play the Germans.

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