Joint Egypt-Qatar political committee holds first meeting in Cairo

Joint Egypt-Qatar political committee holds first meeting in Cairo

A joint political consultation committee set up by Egypt and Qatar’s foreign ministries gathered in Cairo at the weekend to review regional and bilateral issues.

Both ministries said the meeting on Sunday, the committee’s first, highlighted the thaw in relations between Egypt and Qatar since they restored relations in 2021 after several years of tension.

In 2017, Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support of Islamist extremist groups and its close ties to Iran.

Egypt at the time accused Qatar of trying to undermine it through financial support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo outlawed and declared a terrorist organisation in 2013. Thousands of its members have been jailed or are in exile.

The reconciliation between the two countries was sealed when Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, visited Cairo in June for bilateral talks. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in turn visited Doha in September. The two leaders also met at the World Cup in Qatar in November and again in Abu Dhabi last month.

Qatar has also stepped up its investment in Egypt in the past year. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired Egyptian state holdings in a number of companies and the country has made a $5 billion deposit in Egypt’s central bank to help the most populous Arab nation deal with an economic crisis.

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