Frenemies, No More

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrived in Qatar this week, a sign of rapprochement following the severing of relations in the wake of a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf in 2017, Al Jazeera reported.

El-Sissi met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the capital, Doha, where they discussed establishing bilateral ties between the two nations, including investment opportunities.

On Wednesday, both countries signed three memoranda of understanding, including one concerning the two nations’ sovereign wealth funds, Reuters added.

The relationship between the two has been tense since 2013 when the Egyptian military ousted Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

Relations took a nosedive in 2017 when Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in cutting ties with Qatar, over allegations that it was supporting “terrorism.”

Qatar denied the accusations.

The dispute ended in 2021 when Qatar signed a declaration with the four countries to normalize relations. Since then, relations have improved between Doha and the other Arab states.

Egypt, meanwhile, is trying to woo gas-rich Qatar as it grapples with economic difficulties and a shortfall in food supplies in the aftermath of the Ukraine war.

In late March, Cairo announced that Qatar will invest $5 billion in Egypt, while hydrocarbon giant QatarEnergy signed a deal with US major ExxonMobil to purchase a 40 percent share in a gas exploration block off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

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