Egypt and Qatar: Another step forward
The announcement came during a brief visit to Cairo on Monday by Qatari Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani agreed that bilateral relations had returned to normal, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting. Both diplomats hailed the work of bilateral committees, formed after the AlUla Declaration, by which various agreements and memoranda of understanding had been signed by the two countries and consensus was reached on a number of issues on their agendas.
In a press conference held after the meeting, Shoukri said that relations are moving forward in a way that helps both countries meet joint challenges and enhances joint Arab efforts to achieve the ambitions of their peoples. Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani pointed in the presser to bilateral relations that are in constant development and that his country is after further upgrading these relations.
It was Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani’s second visit to Egypt since the signing of Al-Ula Declaration in January 2021 by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to restore diplomatic, economic, and travel ties with Qatar after a boycott was imposed by four Arab counties in mid-2017.
The countries had jointly boycotted Qatar in order to pressure Doha to end its close relations with Turkey and Iran. Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani visited Cairo in May last year and met President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. During that visit, he discussed with Soukri ways to improve bilateral ties as well as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The two diplomats met again in June in Doha. The visit also aimed at taking more measures to advance bilateral cooperation in a manner that achieves the interests of the two countries. Since the dispute ended, ties among the five countries improved, official visits exchanged and various cooperation agreements signed.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 31 March, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.