Qatar says no more aid to Egypt, for now

Reuters, Ahram Online, Monday 11 Mar 2013

After providing $5 billion in fiscal support to Egypt, Qatari Finance Minister says his country does not plan to give further aid to the struggling post revolutionary government

Qatari Finance Minister Youssef Kamal (Photo: Reuters)

Qatar does not expect to give further financial aid to Egypt in the immediate term, Qatari Finance Minister Youssef Kamal said on Monday.

"We already announced $5 billion," Kamal told Reuters, when asked how much aid Qatar had provided Egypt to date.

Asked whether Qatar expected to provide more, he replied: "Not yet." He did not elaborate.

Qatar has been a key source of foreign aid to Egypt since its 2011 revolution through soft loans and deposits in Cairo's central bank.

In January, Qatar's prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani  said his country does not want to see Egypt go bankrupt.

"Qatar will stand by Egypt and the Egyptian people's needs," Al-Thani said.

As part of its assistance to Egypt's struggling economy, the oil-rich state provided Egypt with $1 billion in grants, and deposited $4 billion in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Qatar is seen as one of the main international supporters of a Muslim Brotherhood led Egypt.

With Egypt's foreign reserves falling to critically low levels and a hoped-for $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund delayed by political unrest, there has been speculation that Cairo could turn to Qatar for yet more aid.

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