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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Egypt, Qatar FMs agree on continued mechanisms to settle outstanding issues

The meeting tackled the current challenges facing Arab states and means to intensify coordination and consultation

Ahram Online , Monday 14 Jun 2021
Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry meets Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani (Photo courtesy of MOFA)

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Qatar agreed on Monday on continued follow-up mechanisms to resolve all outstanding issues between the two nations in the coming period. 

The efforts are part of a reconciliation agreement signed in January by Cairo and Gulf countries to end the rift with Qatar.

According to an official statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Monday with his Qatari counterpart Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in a “lengthy one-on-one meeting" in Doha. 

The two officials expressed their “satisfaction” that the bilateral relations have been improving after signing the Al-Ula Declaration in January.

They agreed on the importance of proceeding with the necessary steps to build on what has been achieved by reactivating various bilateral cooperation frameworks.

The statement said the meeting also tackled the current challenges facing Arab states and the region and means to intensify coordination and consultations.

They also discussed the consultative meeting that will be held on Tuesday by the Arab League to talk about the means of dealing with foreign interferences in Arab regional security matters and reaffirming Arab solidarity with Egypt and Sudan on the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis.

Shoukry’s visit comes a few weeks after his Qatari counterpart led a delegation on a visit to Cairo, during which he met President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and extended an official invitation to visit the Gulf country.

His visit to Doha is the first by an Egyptian official since Egypt signed Al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar, which ended a diplomatic and travel boycott by the Arab Quartet — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain — of Doha since mid-2017.

Since then, Egypt and Qatar have signaled warm ties and had official delegations meet for the first time in Kuwait in February to mull steps required to enhance joint work and bilateral ties.  

The agreement was inked in January in Saudi Arabia, after intense Kuwaiti and US efforts to mend fences between the quartet and Doha.

The quartet cut diplomatic, economic, and travel ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting terrorist groups, charges denied by Qatar.

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