DOHA: Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi arrived in Qatar on Tuesday for the first time since a four-year rift between the countries, officials said.
Al Sissi was met at the airport by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for a visit that the official QNA news agency has said marked “a new era in relations”.
The visit comes as Egypt seeks further financial support and investment to cushion an economic shock caused by the war in Ukraine.
The Egyptian presidency said Al Sissi would discuss bilateral and regional issues with Qatar’s Emir.
During his visit Al Sissi will meet Qatari companies and the Egyptian-Qatari business council, two Egyptian diplomatic sources said.
Financial pressure on Egypt sharpened after Russia’s attacks on 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.
The emir visited Cairo in June, when Qatari investments in cash-strapped Egypt were on the agenda, as well as cooperation in the energy and agriculture sectors.
Cairo joined Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, the UAE and Bahrain, in cutting ties with Doha in June 2017 over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged soft line on Iran.
Their blockade of Qatar was lifted in January 2021.