Egyptian president in Qatar on official visit

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi arrived in Qatar on Tuesday on a two-day visit that caps a reconciliation between the two Arab nations after a four-year rift ended last year. The visit, announced on Twitter by the royal palace in Doha and Mr El Sisi’s office, was described by the Qatari news agency as the start of a “new era” in relations between the two countries.

The image of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi warmly shaking hands with Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani would have been unthinkable years ago, when three Gulf Arab states and Egypt imposed a boycott on Doha over its sympathy to Islamists and other contentious issues. Relations between Cairo and Doha frayed in 2013, when el-Sissi, as defense minister, led the military’s overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi following a short-lived and divisive rule, and outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood, was backed by Qatar.

The visit comes at a time when the Egypt is in the midst of an economic crisis, caused, largely by the damaging fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war, with Egypt relying heavily on Russia for wheat imports and the coronavirus pandemic before it.

During his visit, Mr El Sisi will meet representatives of Qatari companies and members of the Egyptian-Qatari business council, Reuters reported.

Image Credit: Egyptian Presidency Media Office