Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Qatar on Tuesday for the first time after a four-year rift in relations between Cairo and Doha. The trip was described by the Qatari news agency as a "new era in relations" between the two countries.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received El-Sisi on his arrival at Hamad airport alongside Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Amiri Diwan chief Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Qatari Ambassador to Egypt Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi and Egyptian Ambassador to Qatar Amr El-Sherbiny, who were also present at the reception for the Egyptian President.
Emir Al-Thani had already visited Cairo in June, when the liquidity problems of Qatar's investments in Egypt were on his agenda, as well as cooperation in the energy and agriculture sectors.
At the end of March, Egypt announced that Qatar planned to invest five billion dollars in Egypt. Indeed, hydrocarbon giant QatarEnergy unveiled a major deal with US-based ExxonMobil to acquire a 40% stake in a gas exploration block in the Mediterranean offshore Egypt.
Cairo had joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain after severing diplomatic ties with Doha in June 2017 over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its alleged soft line on Iran. Now, after lifting its blockade of Qatar in January 2021, it is beginning to establish a series of diplomatic ties with Cairo that could prove highly beneficial for both countries.