Egypt, Qatar rapprochement picks up momentum

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi acquired a cellphone name April 12 from Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. The selection, first and basic of the holy month of Ramadan, was once the primary contact between the two leaders since a reconciliation settlement was once signed between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors as successfully as Egypt within the Saudi metropolis of al-Ula in January, ending the diplomatic rift that emerged in 2017. 

Spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency Bassam Radi talked about in an announcement, “The president thanked Qatar’s emir for his wants on this blessed event, calling on God Almighty to bless the peoples of the two brotherly worldwide areas as successfully as all Arab and Islamic peoples.”

Mohammed Soliman is a senior confederate at McLarty Buddies, an advisory company mainly primarily based in Washington. He knowledgeable Al-Video present, “In outdated circumstances, the selection would had been concept of as common protocol or courtesy. Nonetheless now, it is a sign of higher relations between Cairo and Doha, particularly after the al-Ula declaration.”

Soliman added, “There may be an figuring out in Cairo and Doha that there’s a should maintain longstanding factors to revive perception, restore ties and ease the years-lengthy inter-Arab feud.”

Frail deputy worldwide minister and member of the Egyptian Council for Out of the country Affairs Rakha Ahmed Hassan knowledgeable Al-Video present that the cellphone name is “positively a particular step and an initiative that Cairo appreciates.”

On March 8, a Qatari diplomatic delegation headed by the director of licensed affairs on the Qatari Ministry of Out of the country Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, visited Cairo to revive the connection between the two worldwide areas to earlier than the Gulf catastrophe in mid-2017.

Hassan added, The [March 8] search suggestion from might perchance effectively lead to everlasting diplomatic illustration.

Al-Video present was once unable to succeed in the Egyptian Out of the country Ministry spokesperson and the Qatari Embassy in Cairo for remark.

Nonetheless, Al-Video present’s correspondent observed that the Egyptian authorities include eradicated the safety posts that had surrounded the Qatari Embassy for the reason that rift in 2017.

In 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain gash once more diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting and financing terrorism, a worth Doha denied. In January 2021, the 4 worldwide areas signed an settlement with Qatar to whole the catastrophe and restore relations.

Since then, the rift is being bridged slight by slight. On Feb. 23, delegations from Doha and Cairo met in Kuwait to concentrate on the normalization challenge. The first assembly between the worldwide ministers of the two worldwide areas adopted March 3 in Cairo, after which Qatari Out of the country Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani talked about that the two worldwide areas try for to “dispute help heat to their relations.”

Hassan talked about that Qatar had begun to acknowledge to Egyptian requests, the elemental about its media retailers’ objectivity towards Egyptian affairs.

Nonetheless, Hassan principal, some factors are level-headed unresolved, such as a result of the Muslim Brotherhood and its individuals on Qatari lands who’re wished by the Egyptian authorities.

He believes the Muslim Brotherhood subject would per likelihood be resolved by an settlement, noting {that a} totally different of Brotherhood leaders help Qatari citizenship. They might perchance effectively be requested to discontinue their political actions, he talked about. 

On March 16, Qatari Inside Minister Khalid bin Khalifa made contact alongside together with his Egyptian counterpart, Mahmoud Tawfik, to concentrate on safety cooperation between the two worldwide areas. 

Mohammed al-Manisi, Egypt’s historical ambassador to Doha, knowledgeable Al-Video present that the selection between Sisi and Sheikh Tamim was once a ceremonial gesture “that should now not acquire extra consideration than it deserves.”

He added that regardless of the technical rapprochement, relations include now not fully returned to common.

Manisi doubts that Qatar will reply to Egyptian requests to cease supporting terrorist teams in Egypt and diverse worldwide areas and to stop Brotherhood leaders who’re residing in Qatar. “Proper this is the precept ship for Cairo, and Doha is level-headed the precept financier for these teams,” he talked about.

“The ball is in Doha’s court docket, however from my expertise with the ruling class there, I’m now not optimistic in any respect,” Manisi principal.

Hassan Abu Taleb, a handbook at Al-Ahram Coronary heart for Strategic Evaluate, knowledgeable Al-Video present that the emir’s initiative reveals a Qatari need to whole the part of stress. However, he principal, “It’s level-headed too early to order that the relations between the two worldwide areas are help as they had been earlier than the catastrophe.”

He added, “Egypt has reservations in managing these relations, such as a result of the topic of the Muslim Brotherhood, and there may be level-headed some improper protection of Egypt’s internal affairs by the Qatari Al Jazeera channel and others.”

Abu Taleb principal, “Protecting [Brotherhood leaders] out of the political scene is critical and obligatory to the two worldwide areas,” declaring that Turkey has suspended political packages on three Istanbul-basically primarily based satellite tv for pc television for laptop channels adversarial to the Egyptian regime — Watan, El Sharq and Mekameleen — to mild the trouble with Cairo.

Nonetheless, the simultaneous Egyptian rapprochement with Qatar and Turkey might perchance effectively irritate Cairo’s allies such as a result of the United Arab Emirates, which has lingering factors with Egypt.

Hassan talked about he would not imagine the rapprochement with Qatar can include an have an effect on on Cairo’s relations with the UAE. “There might perchance effectively be a distinction in viewpoints between Cairo and Abu Dhabi, nonetheless the relations between them will stay stable,” he talked about.

He recognized that there’s a type of competitors among the many many younger rulers within the Gulf to order bigger roles within the connect of abode, however Egypt maintains ties with all events.

Soliman talked about, “Cairo has its personal worldwide protection priorities and challenges throughout a broad geography — Libya, the jap Mediterranean, East Africa, the Nile Basin and the Horn of Africa. Which means Cairo will should include relate relations with foremost regional powers and salvage common ground.”

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