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Egypt’s Sisi begins first post-boycott trip to Qatar

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has begun a two-day visit to Qatar, his first
since Cairo and Doha restored relations last year following a
regional diplomatic rift.

Sisi, who arrived in Doha on Tuesday, is set to discuss bilateral and regional issues with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, who visited Egypt in June.

The visit comes as Egypt seeks further financial support and
investment to cushion an economic shock caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had boycotted Qatar since 2017 over charges it supported terrorism, which Qatar denied.

An agreement to end the row was struck early last year, and
Qatar and Egypt have moved quickly to rebuild relations.

During his visit Sisi will meet Qatari companies and the
Egyptian-Qatari business council, two Egyptian diplomatic
sources said.

READ MORE: Why Gulf tensions are changing from hostility to rapprochement

Financial pressure

Financial pressure on Egypt sharpened after Russia’s offensive in Ukraine in February due to flight of portfolio
investment, a loss in tourism revenue, and rising global
commodity prices.

Cairo has been negotiating for a new loan with the
International Monetary Fund for several months.

In June, the Egyptian finance ministry said Qatar had made
$3 billion of deposits in Egypt’s central bank three months
earlier, and that an additional $2-3 billion of investments were
under discussion.

That was on top of deposits of $5 billion from Saudi Arabia
and $3 billion from the UAE to Egypt’s central bank in
February-March, the ministry said.

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have also made recent
investments in Egypt through their sovereign wealth funds. 

READ MORE: Egypt set to host five-way Arab summit focused on regional issues

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